The Executive Council of the Catalan government held its regular weekly meeting this morning. The Minister of the Presidency and government spokesperson, Meritxell Budó, reported that the Catalan Ministry of Culture has presented a rescue plan that contains a package of measures aimed at mitigating the negative impact of the interruption of cultural activities due to the coronavirus outbreak. The total budget for the programme is €31 million.
Return to online classes for university students
Catalan universities have resumed online classes today following the Holy Week holiday. It is hoped that some face-to-face activity will resume in June if the measures in place make this possible.
Internet-connected devices for primary and secondary students
The Catalan Ministry of Education has begun distributing 22,000 internet-connected devices to students who lack the tools they need to pursue their studies from home. “The objective is to ensure that all students, particularly the most vulnerable groups, have access to the same learning opportunities,” said Budó.
The Executive Council adopted a resolution to allocate €10 million for the provision of essential medical supplies to healthcare facilities.
Update from the Catalan Minister of Home Affairs, Miquel Buch
- “Today we started distributing face masks at over 130 points in 40 municipalities around Catalonia.” Around 100,000 masks have been distributed.
- “We’ve seen that many people have decided to stay home and would like to thank them for making this choice. We’ve also detected an increase in private vehicle traffic, probably because people have opted to use their own cars rather than public transport to avoid the risk of infection.”
Update from the Catalan Minister of Health, Alba Vergés
- Minister Vergès reported on measures aimed at tackling the coronavirus outbreak in Catalan care homes for the elderly, including:
- the opening of a new 240-bed medicalised care home for residents who have tested positive for coronavirus;
- the adaptation of various spaces in Barcelona for the isolation of residents who have tested negative for coronavirus;
- the recruitment of additional staff to replace employees who have tested positive or who have been in contact with infected individuals.
- 10,434 PCR tests have been performed on care home residents.
- Of the 2,046 ICU beds in the Catalan health system, 1,749 are reserved for Covid-19 patients. Eighty percent of these beds (1,384) are currently occupied.
- The primary care system is monitoring some 100,000 people, and the percentage of infected individuals is low, which means the possibility of a resurgence is very high.
- The entire testing capacity of laboratories, clinics and private facilities must be made available to the public health system in order to ensure the quality of tests and have access to information on the evolution of the epidemic.