1. Preventing transmission
The section on PREVENTING TRANSMISSION includes information on key public health measures that aim to prevent the further spread of the disease. It details how countries are advising the general public and people who (might) have the disease to prevent further spread, as well as measures in place to test and identify cases, trace contacts, and monitor the scale of the outbreak.
1.1 Health communication
The Ministry of Health has published different documents aiming to inform on the de-escalation measures. So, for example, providing some hints regarding outdoor activities with children (https://www.mscbs.gob.es/en/profesionales/saludPublica/ccayes/alertasActual/nCov-China/documentos/GUIA_DE_BUENAS_PRACTICAS_EN_LAS_SALIDAS_DE_LA_POBLACIOON_INFANTIL_DURANTE_EL_ESTADO_DE_ALARMA.pdf) or the different time slots to a proper use of public space along the day (https://www.mscbs.gob.es/profesionales/saludPublica/ccayes/alertasActual/nCov-China/img/Franjashorarias.jpg).
Finally, the Ministry of Health has released a deck of documents describing the transition plan towards normal life with details on the principles of the plan, the decision making mechanisms and an indicative timeline (https://www.mscbs.gob.es/profesionales/saludPublica/ccayes/alertasActual/nCov-China/planDesescalada.htm), as well as a document on frequent questions on the de-escalation plan (https://www.mscbs.gob.es/profesionales/saludPublica/ccayes/alertasActual/nCov-China/documentos/COVID19_Preguntas_y_respuestas_plan_nueva_normalidad.pdf).
3 May, following the compulsory requirement of using face masks in public transports, the Ministry for Consumers has published a guide explaining the different kind of face masks available and how to use them during the de-escalation process (https://www.lamoncloa.gob.es/serviciosdeprensa/notasprensa/consumo/Paginas/2020/030520compra-mascarillas.aspx).
On May 5, the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda launched a communication campaign in social media informing about compulsory measures regarding physical distancing as well as recommendations when using public transportation (https://www.mitma.gob.es/el-ministerio/sala-de-prensa/noticias/mar-05052020-1255).
Soon after the identification of COVID-19 as the pathogen responsible for the outbreak in Wuhan, China (7 January, 2020), the Ministry of Health, through the Centre for the Coordination of Health Alerts and Emergencies (CCAES, in Spanish), activated the COVID-19 protocol, in coordination with the Departments of Health in Spain’s 17 regions (known as Autonomous Communities (ACs)).
On January 23, the task force for the design and development of a COVID-19 rapid response published the first protocol establishing measures for early detection, surveillance, preventing transmission and monitoring contacts (Minister for Health’s parliamentary appearance, March 26 https://www.mscbs.gob.es/gabinetePrensa/notaPrensa/pdf/26.03260320134953882.pdf). The Ministry of Health’s website and those of the Departments of Health in the ACs set up specific pages to provide up-to-date information for professionals and citizens. For example, the information released by the Ministry of Health is available here: https://www.mscbs.gob.es/profesionales/saludPublica/ccayes/alertasActual/nCov-China/home.htm.
In addition, official Twitter accounts for the Ministry of Health and the Public Health General Directorate, as well as those of corresponding bodies in the ACs, produce up-to-date information on the outbreak as well as on implemented measures. Public awareness campaigns have been launched in both public and private media, conveying key messages on self-protection and protecting the most vulnerable people.
At daily press conferences, the Spanish Government releases the latest update on the progression of the epidemic and the implementation of different policies. As the Minister of Health has full responsibility for the management of the outbreak, it is usually the Head of the Coordination Centre for Health Alerts and Emergencies who provides the most up-to-date information. Since the initiation of a curfew (called the State of Alarm) on March 14, all Ministries involved in these operations (Ministries of Health, Economy, Internal Affairs and Defence) are responsible for releasing the latest news on the implementation of the specific measures. The different regional governments, usually through the heads of their departments of health, debrief local media about the local progression of the outbreak.
On 8 April, Hispabot-Covid19, a chatbot operating through WhatsApp, was launched. It is a dedicated information and consultation channel, based on artificial intelligence, aimed at answering citizens’ doubts on COVID-19. It provides official, detailed and up-to-date information on the virus (http://www.mineco.gob.es/portal/site/mineco/menuitem.ac30f9268750bd56a0b0240e026041a0/?vgnextoid=e3f7dfb26d851710VgnVCM1000001d04140aRCRD&vgnextchannel=2f0e154527515310VgnVCM1000001d04140aRCRD).
The Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Social Rights have published guidance and recommendation to address the COVID-19 crisis in vulnerable population subgroups (https://www.mscbs.gob.es/profesionales/saludPublica/ccayes/alertasActual/nCov-China/documentos.htm). In particular,
- Recommendations for prisons https://www.mscbs.gob.es/profesionales/saludPublica/ccayes/alertasActual/nCov-China/documentos/Recomendaciones_en_centros_penitenciarios_COVID19.pdf
- Recommendations on COVID-19 prevention and control in nursing homes and other residences https://www.mscbs.gob.es/profesionales/saludPublica/ccayes/alertasActual/nCov-China/documentos/Residencias_y_centros_sociosanitarios_COVID-19.pdf
-Recommendations for politicians and social services managers in primary care (https://www.mscbs.gob.es/profesionales/saludPublica/ccayes/alertasActual/nCov-China/documentos/Recomendaciones_SERVICIOS_SOCIALES_ATC_PRIMARIA_(v1).pdf)
- Recommendations on home care provided by social services (https://www.mscbs.gob.es/profesionales/saludPublica/ccayes/alertasActual/nCov-China/documentos/Recomendaciones_GESTORES_SAD_COVID-19_Ver_2.pdf)
-Recommendations on social services intervention in highly vulnerable settlements (https://www.mscbs.gob.es/profesionales/saludPublica/ccayes/alertasActual/nCov-China/documentos/Recomendaciones_actuacion_COVID_asentamientos_y_barrios_vulnerables_27_3_2020.pdf)
- Recommendations on homeless assistance for social services managers (https://www.mscbs.gob.es/profesionales/saludPublica/ccayes/alertasActual/nCov-China/documentos/Recomendaciones_GESTORES_servicios_Ps_SIN_HOGAR_y_COVID-19.pdf)
- Recommendations on childhood and teenager protection during COVID-19 crisis (https://www.mscbs.gob.es/profesionales/saludPublica/ccayes/alertasActual/nCov-China/documentos/Recomendaciones_PROTECCION_INFANCIA_31-3-2020_(final).pdf).