A VILLAGE in south-west Spain is reeling after a severe outbreak of COVID-19 has been linked to a barber’s trip to Turkey for hair transplant treatment.
The municipality of Calamonte, 60km east of the city of Badajoz, Extremadura, has seen 29 of its 6,000 residents test positive for COVID-19 this month.
The outbreak has caused the school to close to students, and numerous businesses to shut their doors.
Heath authorities have begun investigating the outbreak, and have linked the spike in cases to a 36-year-old barber in the village.
Manuel Parada, organised a 3-day trip to Turkey, with 17 of his clients to undergo hair transplant treatment earlier this month.
Since returning, Parada, and 14 of his client shave since tested positive, leading to mass testing among 250 close contacts.
Authorities are investigating the coach driver that drove the group from Madrid the airport, as he tested positive for the virus earlier this week.
Unaware of the drivers positive diagnosis, the travellers carried on their daily business, potentially infecting scores of fellow residents.
Calamonte’s mayor, Magdelena Carmona, understands that the situation is not ideal but ensures residents that she is doing everything in her power to stem the outbreak.
“We have to deal with it as best we can and carry on working together.” said Carmona.
Parada told Spanish media outlet, El Espanol, that during the trip, he took every precaution possible to fight against the virus.
“We didn’t go to Turkey on holiday – it was a medical trip, which is allowed by the foreign office,” said Parada.
“If it hadn’t been allowed, we would have chosen a different date.”
Parada has also slammed social media for jumping to conclusions and creating memes of the situation, blaming the group for the outbreak.
“I don’t have Facebook but my colleagues tell me they’re pinning the blame on us and turning us into memes. It’s really easy to criticise when you don’t know. There are other outbreaks, but they’ve got nothing to do with us.”