VILLAJOYOSA, which is just a 15 minute drive from Benidorm, has seen its mayor apparently backtrack on a local lockdown threat over rising COVID-19 cases.
Andreu Verdú was quoted on the municipality’s website as saying : “We may have to adopt more drastic measures which will include confining the town if necessary.”
“I call on people in the area to act responsibly to stop the spread of COVID-19,” he added.
A spokesman for the Ciudadanos party on Villajoyosa council slammed the mayor’s comments as alarmist.
Paco Perez Buigues commented: “These are irresponsible and alarmist comments which will do a lot of damage to tourism. The local COVID-19 case rise does not justify considering a lockdown.”
Verdú was responding to concerns from the Marina Baixa Public Health department after new cases in the municipality rose by 14 to 21 over the last week.
The council website featured the mayor’s lockdown warning in a statement issued by the authority’s press office, but he has subsequently said that he never used the word.
Five of the newly confirmed cases in the Villajoyosa area appear to have come from family gatherings and meetings with friends.
Authorities believe that the rest are isolated incidents with trackers investigating who people have been in contact with.
Regional Public Health director, Teresa Revilla, commented: “There has been a relaxation in what people have been doing previously over social distancing and trying to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.”
Andreu Verdú said a massive issue was that people with COVID-19 did not know that they had it.
“I have been told that a number of the new cases involve carriers who are asymptomatic and spread the virus without knowing it.”
Villajoyosa council has stepped up the cleaning and disinfection of parks and common areas, with the Policia Local tightening up checks on mandatory wearing, especially among younger people.