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Covid cases rise in Benidorm

Covid cases rise in Benidorm - But are the figures correct?

24th November - A very bad day yesterday with 15 deaths in our region, 325 people in hospital with 57 of them in intensive care. The Valencian government is urging people to maintain safe distances, and wear masks when the law specifies, ie outside when a personal distance of 1.5 metres cannot be maintained, and inside at all times unless actually eating or drinking. It is also mandatory to wear a mask while dancing, or singing karaoke.

28th October -  Covid cases rise in Benidorm, but are the figures correct? - The complaints of the tourism sector sector have not fallen, on deaf ears and the Ministry of Health is already working on changing the system of calculation of the incidence of covid.

The committee of experts that advise President Ximo Puig and the Ministry of Health to set the incidence of covid and, therefore, the prevention measures to be taken propose that the system of calculation of the risk of contagion caused by the virus be changed, after admitting that the real incidence in municipalities with a high percentage of floating population (tourists), the figures may end up distorted compared to reality. It is, for example, the case of Benidorm, where if instead of the census population (68,000 neighbours) the rest of the people who live right now in the city (180,000) were also contemplated, the incidence of covid would fall by half, according to experts.

27th October - The spike in cases has been attributed to the increased number of British tourists visiting Benidorm. Spain’s Ministry of Health, states Benidorm has officially become a “high risk” Covid category, after its 14-day cumulative incidence rate of 286 per 100,000 inhabitants, with a national average of only 43.

The Minister of Health, Ana Barceló, has acknowledged she is "concerned" about the incidence of covid-19 in Benidorm, where a rate of 273.95 cases detected in the last 14 days is reached, which places the city in a situation of "extreme risk". Specifically, with 193 active cases, according to the latest update by municipalities provided by the Ministry of Health, which corresponds to the data on Monday 25th October.

The Minister of Health, Ana Barceló, at the press conference on Tuesday.

The figure multiplies by six the average incidence in the province and is much higher than the data recorded by other large cities, such as Alicante itself, where the average incidence stands at 46.22 cases per 100,000 inhabitants; Elche, with 15.33 cases; Torrevieja, which has 54.33 cases per 100,000; Orihuela, with 43.31; Alcoy, with 37.07; or Dénia, where the average stands at 37.36 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days.

In a press conference to present the new flu vaccination campaign, the regional head of Health has affirmed that her department is "concerned" about the figures of Benidorm and explained that "53% of the infections detected are among foreigners, mostly English". In fact, the upward curve in the incidence began to rise from October 5th, coinciding with the arrival of tourists, mainly British although they also test positive in other nationalities, the minister clarified.

Covid cases rise in Benidorm 

Likewise, Barceló has not ruled out having to adopt some type of restriction if the trend continues upwards: "We follow the case closely to adopt measures that were necessary for the control of infections."

Current rules and restrictions for the Valencian Community can be found HERE

Both the tourist association Hosbec and the mayor of Benidorm, Toni Pérez, publicly defended yesterday that the numbers on the incidence in the city are "distorisioned",given that they are calculated on a census population of 68,000 inhabitants, when all indicators point to the current population of the city is around 180,000 people among registered neighbours, citizens in second homes and tourist population. Therefore, they urged Health to modify the way of making the calculations since, in the case of taking as a reference to the real population, the accumulated incidence to 14 days would be around 100 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, they added.

However, before this request, the Minister of Health has warned that the accumulated incidence is calculated on the census population, not the real one, so that the real data may be less alarming, "but not even the city council knows what the floating population is at a certain time, so we can not use that data in our favour; if there is a contagion, it must be counted."

She also pointed out that "for the assessment of risk, not only the indicator of the accumulated incidence is used, but also in that of hospitalizations, which continues to fall (at the regional level) with 1.48

Read the original Spanish version of the above here

The increase in the incidence of covid, despite the fact that there is no hospital pressure and vaccines prevent infections from having lethal consequences.  The supposed exponential growth of the virus in Benidorm has practically gone viral which is unreal according to hoteliers and Benidorm City Council and this is all down to how the figures are worked out and the Provincial Council yesterday demanded more rigor on how the figures are analysed.

Hosbec does not share the image of "extreme risk" that has been projected as "that does not correspond to reality". The employer insists that the data reveal that right now - figures from Monday - there are eight patients hospitalized for covid on the floor at the Regional Hospital of La Vila that serves 300,000 inhabitants.

In addition, the employers' association who have managed the Hospitality Tourism since July 15th state that during this period there have been less than 20 positives who have needed isolation in hotels and accommodations compared to 400,000 different tourists who have stayed in the hotels.

Tourism during September was, according to the INE, a good month, which has carried into October with hotels on the Costa Blanca serving 322,400 tourists, of which 208,102 were foreigners and of them 85,000 in Benidorm. Tourists who maintained.

Benidorm has two private hospitals in a region with more than 300,000 residents who perform diagnostic tests, but all are imputed to the municipality, reiterate from the hotel employers. Benidorm also has more than 50,000 tourists staying in hotels, apartments and campsites, which change customers every week due to the tourist rotation. In addition, the number of diagnostic tests that are done in this city is very high precisely because of the tourist component. There are many visitors who require a negative diagnostic test to be able to fly back to their country, many of them British until a few days ago, before the restrictions were lifted.

The Minister of Health said yesterday that "53% of the infections detected are among foreigners, mostly English". The upward curve in the incidence began to rise from October 5th, coinciding with the arrival of tourists, mainly British although they also test positive in other nationalities, according to the Minister Barceló.

Last Monday, Toni Pérez the Mayor of Benidorm, made it clear that officially there are 75,000 people residing in Benidorm. While, in reality, the city can be ‘home’, up to 180,000+ population at any given time.

Covid cases rise in Benidorm 

He added the real coronavirus incidence is, “very different from what is being published by the health authorities.” If the regional health chiefs examined the data according to the real population levels, the city of Benidorm would “be in the ballpark of the figures from any other municipality in Spain.” He was emphatic in stating his concern for the bad press Benidorm is getting due to this situation, and added that - “There is no reason to create concern, either among the tourists who are currently visiting us nor among residents”

Toni Pérez, mayor of Benidorm, is forceful The covid data that the health authorities are transferring distort reality. There is no reason to raise concerns. Safety is a priority for us, both neighbours and our tourists, "says the mayor.

José Mancebo, director of the Provincial Tourism Board, shares the desolation of hoteliers. "I am convinced that our tourists know that the reality is more complex than the percentage according to the census, but if it is not corrected immediately it could affect the image, because the intention to travel is intimately linked to the incidence of the virus." Therefore, Mancebo claims that "the official statistics take into account issues such as the floating population, especially if we think that we will continue to live with the virus in the long term. Throughout the pandemic, the attention to our customers, tour operators and airlines, has been based on seamless union and rigor. Now we are at a key moment to relaunch campaigns that favour a safe destination, and we can not base the strategy on a photo of reality that appears moved. We must be rigorous and absolutely reliable for our customers, just as we have been until now."

Please note this article has been translated from Spanish to English some detail may be lost in this translation. Read the original article here 

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