SPAIN is raising the risk of local coronavirus transmission to ‘moderate’. 

Director of the Centre for Health Alerts and Emergencies Fernando Simon made the announcement during a press conference this morning.

He added that the country would be boosting its detection capacity on a national level.

“In Spain, what concerns us right now is the outbreak in Italy due to the connectivity we have with that country,” he added.

“The eight cases are imported.

“The general scenario in Spain is low risk but in some specific areas it could be medium risk or even high risk.”

His comments came before a second case was confirmed in Barcelona, bringing the total number of infected to nine.

The 22-year-old patient had been in Italy, according to El Mundo.

Cases have now been confirmed in Madrid, Castellon, Tenerife and Barcelona.

But Simon said it was not necessary for people to wear masks.

“It makes no sense,” he told reporters.

His comments were supported by Maria Neria, Public Health Director at the World Health Organisation (WHO).

She said it was ‘irrational and disproportionate’ that masks and disinfectant gels were being sold out across pharmacies in Spain.

Neria added that a reported decline in infection rates in China could indicate the disease has reached its epidemic peak.

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