• At a press briefing this morning, the president warned that the situation is “critical” and that many parts of Catalonia risk finding themselves back where they were in March
  • He urged the public, particularly young people, to engage in “responsible social interaction” and stressed that he will not hesitate to take whatever measures are needed
  • The president also said that Catalonia is a “safe and responsible destination for visitors” and that all necessary measures are being taken to contain the virus
Catalan president Quim Torra appeared at a press briefing this morning to urge citizens to once again make an all-out collective effort in response to the critical situation facing Catalonia.
President Torra during the press briefing. Photograph: Jordi Bedmar

Catalan president Quim Torra appeared at a press briefing this morning to urge citizens to once again make an “all-out collective effort” in response to the “critical” situation facing Catalonia, which has seen an “increase in outbreaks and worrying data on the number of people infected with Covid-19”.

“We need to focus once again on the fact that lives are at stake. I’m calling on you to make an all-out collective effort as a historic civic duty. It’s the only way we can avoid more restrictive measures that nobody wants,” the president said.

Accompanied by the new Secretary for Public Health, Dr Josep Maria Argimon, the head of the government stressed that the next 10 days would be critical to turn the situation around. President Torra said he would not hesitate to take whatever measures are needed, and that his priority is to protect the health of citizens.


“Worrying” data on evolution of new cases

Torra said the current situation is similar to that seen in March, when cases began to rise sharply in Catalonia. According to the president, at the moment the outbreak is mainly affecting the primary care system and spaces where patients are being kept in isolation. The president stressed the importance of avoiding a situation in which hospitals come under strain and stricter lockdown measures must be applied.

The president reported that the number of confirmed cases has been steadily increasing, reaching 5,487 in the last week, and that the number of patients admitted to Catalan ICUs rose from 57 last Monday (20 July) to 75 on Sunday (26 July). On the positive side, Torra said the number of PCR tests performed has increased (to 62,000 last week); the average age of infected patients has fallen (to 37.5); and the number of cases of pneumonia reported in the primary care system remains low.

He also said that 400 Covid-19 managers have been hired to reinforce the system for diagnosing cases and detecting close contacts in order to break chains of infection, and that the situation in care homes is under control. 

In reference to flare-ups in Segrià, Figueres and Vilafant, the head of the government said the situation appears to be stabilising.

As the summer holiday season approaches, President Torra called for “responsible mobility and social interaction”.

A safe and responsible tourist destination

The president concluded with a reassuring message for anyone thinking of visiting Catalonia: “Catalonia is a responsible tourist destination, and we’re implementing all necessary measures and following international guidelines to contain the spread of Covid-19.”

He said the government is closely monitoring outbreaks in Barcelona, Figueres and Segrià, and that unaffected areas such as the Costa Brava, the Costa Daurada, the Pyrenees and Central Catalonia are safe travel destinations.