10 Mar, 2020 @ 20:29
1 min read

Deputy leader of Spain’s Vox party contracts coronavirus after he is pictured sniffing and coughing at 9,000-strong event in Madrid

Vox Ortega Smith

THE deputy leader of Vox has contracted coronavirus after being pictured coughing and sniffing in Madrid.

Secretary General Javier Ortega Smith was confirmed as among Spain’s 1,600 victims this afternoon.

The 51-year-old and right hand man of Vox leader Santiago Abascal, attended an event with 9,000 people on Sunday.

Both politicians of the far right party had attended the rally in the Spanish capital’s Plaza de Vistalegre.

Vox Ortega Smith
SNIFFLES: Ortega is pictured looking ill at Madrid event

All Vox’s 52 deputies have now been ordered to self-isolate and work from their homes.

The event in Madrid has not been confirmed as the origin of the contagion, although Ortega was filmed blowing his nose into a tissue and clearing his throat.

The conference saw Abascal confirmed as party leader for another four years, but he admitted the party had considered cancelling the occasion.

However, he said: “It would have been irresponsible to generate alarm by suspending a public act while the rest of the country continued to function normally.”

However, Vox has also used the opportunity to hit out at Pedro Sanchez’s PSOE Government

A party spokesperson said: “It would be naive to believe that [the Executive] would put the health of the Spaniards before their propaganda agenda.”

The party was alluding to the decisions not to ban Sunday’s International Women’s Day marches, some religious ceremonies and until today, football matches.

Vox has called for the ‘immediate resignation of Spain’s Vice President Carmen Calvo.

It comes as Vox officials also travelled to the US to meet with members of President Donald Trump’s administration.

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