The coronavirus has put the focus back on young people. This time, due to a ‘macro outbreak’ originating in Mallorca among students who traveled to the island to celebrate the end of the year. More than 200 remain in quarantine in a hotel that has been adapted for the occasion; And that has been precisely the cause of the controversy, as many denounce a lack of information and arbitrariness when isolating them.
Although the possible origins of the transmission are suspected – a concert that was held last week and crowds in venues, among other types of massive events likely to promote contagions – the focus is not known, or has not yet been disclosed. that originated the so-called ‘macro outbreak’, which already adds more than 1,100 positives from eight different communities. That is, 26% of the peninsular youth who traveled to the island.
At the hotel Palma Bellver, where all those identified by the trackers have been transferred, the feelings are of various kinds. Many have expressed their outrage through social media and even the media. Others ask for explanations and details of the reason why they are considered close contacts. “We are paying just for sinners”says Álvaro Picazo, an 18-year-old young man from Madrid who, like the others, traveled to the island with his high school classmates. Picazo tells 20minutos that the outbreak originated last week, when they were not yet on the island, so it seems “unfair” that they should be held without knowing for sure when they could have been exposed to the virus.
Right now they are the only group of students in Madrid in quarantine, according to this newspaper. They arrived by ferry on Wednesday, June 23, but the order to isolate themselves was transferred to them on June 26. In those three days, he explains, the only activities that some of them did were water sports and a catamaran trip. “If they tell me that we have actually been in contact with a person who has Covid, I am the first to say that this is fine. But most of the people who participated in the macrobotellones or in the festival are already in the peninsula, “he says.
His group, made up of a score of young people from Madrid, have already had two tests performed: one for antigens, and another for PCR to clear up any doubts. Both have tested negative, but still must remain in quarantine. “The Balearic government is declaring all the young people who have been in Mallorca, in the Arenal area or in some hotels in the area, as close contacts”, explains Sergio Yepes, Álvaro’s partner.
“We are stuck in a medicalized hotel where it is known that there are confirmed cases of coronavirus that could be perfectly on the next terrace, and we, who are negative, have to stay here. It is outrageous, because we don’t want to stay in a place where there are positive people being able to return to our homes and keep quarantine there, “he adds.
“The Balearic government has put everyone in the same bag without evidence, and I do not know to what extent that can become legal”
Both report that the moment they were given the news was a bit “overwhelming.” The Ministry of Health called them to inform them that they should remain confined in the hotel where they had been staying for a few days and that the next day an ambulance would transfer them to another with the rest of the contacts. “None of us knew anything, nor to what extent we could refuse, nor if we had to comply with that order or even if it was really legal”says Yepes. His partner, Sergio, explains that, although some wanted to refuse at first, they were scared when they saw that the Civil Guard intervened.
But they say they have done nothing wrong. “We have been responsible. I have a clear conscience and I refer to the tests: we have all tested negative,” says Picazo. The young man affirms that “what the Balearic government is doing is not normal, because he has put them all in the same bag without evidence, and I do not know to what extent that can become legal “. The Madrilenian considers that, since they have all tested negative, they should return to the capital and quarantine for ten days at home.
Now, they comply with the order while their parents pressure anyone who can expedite the process back to the Peninsula, where they should have already been after the trip as planned. Meanwhile, they remain resignedly isolated in the room assigned to them for quarantine. “We don’t know anything about anything. They don’t know where the outbreak originated. They said on television that there is a contact telephone number, but they don’t pick it up. I called reception and I didn’t know anything either, “says Álvaro.
Some accompanied, others alone; but all with the feeling that they are not being duly informed about their situation and with the certainty that an injustice is being produced against them. “We are worried and all we want is to go home”, Sergio concludes.
Eight communities with cases from Mallorca
The positive cases linked to study trips to Mallorca and Menorca are around a thousand throughout Spain. Madrid has been the community that has registered the most cases associated with this outbreak: 526, of which 493 are students and 33 secondary cases. There are, in addition, 2,600 contacts in quarantine, as reported by the Ministry of Health. Basque Country has raised this Monday to 172 young people infected and 302 those who are quarantined. s the outbreak of Mallorca
On Catalonia They have counted 132 infected who traveled to Mallorca and 76 to Menorca, and they are already considering the possibility of starting to vaccinate young people given the increase in cases at those ages. For now, they are focused on continuing to track potential contacts and scheduling diagnostic tests.
Andalusia it has also been one of the most affected by these outbreaks. A total of 550 people linked to the Mallorca outbreak have been identified, and 107 of them are already back in Andalusia.
On Galicia related positives now add up to 102, while in Murcia, the Health Minister, Juan José Pedreño, estimates that there are some 54 young people infected in Palma and about 200 people as close contacts.
In addition, Castilla la Mancha has detected 19 positives linked to this case, while keeping 120 under suspicion. Figure similar to that of Castile and Leon, which has registered 12 positives and 50 close contacts.
Health, for its part, has recognized this Monday that these data are “important”. The director of the Center for the Coordination of Health Alerts and Emergencies, Fernando Simón, explained at a press conference that “the perfect situation was generated for a transmission of the virus”, but he has also indicated that “it is not the first time that similar things have happened.” The epidemiologist has asserted that the agglomerations produced at the weekend June 18-20 they were a “perfect breeding ground” for multiplying transmission, which has already left a considerable mark on the overall incidence.