The Spanish Government Forces Millions of Workers to Return to Work, Ignoring WHO Recommendations

The Spanish government has forced millions of Spanish and Catalan workers to return to work starting early this week, despite the fact that the government does not comply with the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations:

– Transmission is controlled

– Health system capacities are in place to test, isolate, and treat every case and trace every contact

– Outbreak risks are minimized in special settings like health facilities and nursing homes

– Preventive measures are in place in workplaces, schools, and other essential places

– Importation risks can be manage

– Communities are fully educated, engaged and empowered to adjust to the new norm

These are the sectors that have reopened:

– Construction

– Industry

– Judicial and legal services

– Domestic workers

– Gardening

As an indication of the possible scale of re-opening, the construction and industrial sectors alone employ 24% of the Catalan workforce.

The Catalan government, in collaboration with organizations such as Red Cross and Civil Protection volunteers, have distributed 1.7 million face masks in cities and towns with more than 30,000 inhabitants, primarily on public transport and at main transport hubs.

There is great uncertainty as to whether lifting the confinement for millions of workers will cause a deadly resurgence of coronavirus (Covid-19). According to experts, we will have to wait around two weeks to see the real outcome. If there were a resurgence of cases, the Spanish government will bear responsibility for all of the deaths. 

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