A senior official for the Catalan public health service has acknowledged that in the coming days further cases of coronavirus are expected in Catalonia. Public health secretary Joan Guix made this statement this Wednesday, while giving details of the second case of coronavirus detected in Catalonia, a 22 year old man, who like the first case detected on Tuesday, had recently spent time in northern Italy. "We don't know for sure what will happen, but we are expecting that for a period of days there will be a trickle of cases."


Joan Guix said that, although it was impossible to define the period precisely, he could envisage that "for 10 or 12 days there could be a succession of cases in Catalonia". This, he said, would be concerning, but only relatively, "as long as they were only imported cases". In such cases, he said, the authorities wanted to detect them, isolate them, and search for people they had been in contact with. 

"We will be much more concerned if we start to have community-acquired infections." With this phrase, he was referring to cases where people in Catalonia with the virus infect others without any of them having been in an area of risk.

A 22-year-old, second case in Catalonia

Joan Guix explained that a 22-year-old man who was recently in Italy was the second case of the virus detected in Catalonia. He presented himself at Barcelona's Hospital Clínic on Tuesday with mild symptoms: a sore throat and a temperature of 37.5 degrees. Joan Guix said that his contacts are now being identified and will be told to stay home, in line with the protocol.

This second case comes 24 hours after the first positive in Barcelona was confirmed, a 36-year-old Italian woman resident in the Catalan capital who had travelled to northern Italy between February 12th and 22nd. She was admitted to the Hospital Clínic and her condition is good.

Twelve cases throughout Spain

With this second positive in Catalonia, and a new case in Seville, the number of cases that have been detected in the Spanish state has risen to 12. The Seville case, a 62-year-old man, is the only case detected so far where the patient has not been in an area of risk.

The breakdown is: 4 cases in Tenerife (Canary Islands), 2 in Madrid, 1 in Castellón (Valencia Community), 1 in Seville (Andalusia) and two in Catalonia. The other two have already been discharged: a German citizen in La Gomera (Canary Islands) and a British citizen in Mallorca.

Thirty-three people isolated in Barcelona

A total of 33 people who have come in contact with the Italian woman who tested positive for coronavirus in Barcelona are in home isolation.

On Tuesday, shortly after this first case of infection was confirmed in Catalonia, the number of people in isolation was 25, but it has increased since then as the protocol continues to be applied and people who had had contact with the woman have been located.

People in confinement may have contact with their families, as long as basic protective measures are taken. All of them are being monitored for any symptoms of COVID-19.

Eight possible cases investigated yesterday in Catalonia were all negative. 

"We are currently in the phases of detecting cases that arrive from abroad, and trying to avoid that there is any transmission here", said Catalan health minister Alba Vergés at today's press conference in Barcelona. She noted that both Germany and France had had imported cases which led to small local outbreaks which were contained and did not develop further. 


Six cases confirmed on Tuesday

Until Monday night, only three cases had been detected in the Spanish state. This went up to nine on Tuesday.

The first positive that was confirmed on Tuesday, the 36-year-old Italian woman living in Barcelona, was followed by a confirmed case in the Valencian Community: a man who had recently travelled to Milan and who is currently admitted to the La Plana Hospital in Villarreal (Castellón).

In the middle of the afternoon, a third case was reported: the wife of the Italian doctor who had tested positive in Tenerife on Monday; the couple are from the Lombardy region.

The fourth case confirmed Tuesday was in Madrid, a 24-year-old man who had also been in Italy.

On Tuesday night, the Canary Islands health ministry reported two new cases in Tenerife, two Italian tourists who are part of the circle of friends of the infected couple there. 

By Wednesday afternoon, additional cases had been detected in Madrid, Barcelona and Seville.