Wednesday, August 4

Coronavirus attack on the Camino de Santiago: first pilgrims confined in shelters after testing positive

A total of 8 pilgrims, who these days shared the last sections of the road in the direction of Santiago, are the first to be infected with COVID of which there is evidence on the Camino de Santiago. The alarm went off this Sunday at the Palas de Rei shelter (Lugo) when one of the walkers began to feel ill and tried to undergo a PCR test to check if the cause was a COVID-19 infection. As his companions have explained in a statement there, they indicated that they did not have diagnostic tests, so he should confine himself that night and wait the next day to go by taxi to the Lugo hospital.

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“Since in the shelter there was no possibility of isolating oneself, since there was no individual room”, the woman was picked up by the relative of one of them, who traveled from Santiago to take her to the hospital in the Galician capital where the positive was confirmed and he was admitted to hospital. This Sunday, as confirmed by one of the confined pilgrims, the group was transferred to another shelter “for greater security” where they waited for a team from the Xunta who traveled to the place to submit them to diagnostic tests. Seven of the eight people who made up that group have tested positive.

Two of the group’s pilgrims have already gone home after signing a responsible declaration, while the other six remain in another Xunta shelter. They have been assigned a doctor to monitor their symptoms daily.

The first pilgrim to test positive for Covid-19 was admitted with mild symptoms to the Complexo Hospitalario Universitario de Santiago de Compostela (CHUS). According to an acquaintance, the woman who first tested positive traveled by plane from Mallorca, took a bus to Sarria and slept one of the nights in a pavilion with bunk beds with 50 other people.

Complaints for inattention

The group has expressed its complaints about the management of the Xunta and have indicated that “more than 12 hours” passed without the covid tracker service or the health administration contacting “neither with them, nor with the shelter.”

Relatives have also criticized the “slowness of the monitoring process”, which may cause “the virus to spread” since, as indicated in the statement, the positive woman traveled by plane from Mallorca, took a bus to Sarria and slept one of the nights in a bunk pavilion with 50 other people.

The person who transferred the sick pilgrim has regretted that the Hospital did not carry out the PCR “after taking the sick pilgrim by car from Palas de Rei to the Hospital de Santiago.” “They argued that according to the Xunta’s protocol, being vaccinated could not be done, while 061 recommends that she confine herself, because despite being vaccinated, she can become ill and infect, even be asymptomatic and continue to infect”, have pointed.

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