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La Linea records three Covid-related deaths as cases rise

by Priya Gulraj and Maria Jesus Corrales

The Andalusian regional government recorded three new Covid-19 related deaths in La Linea on Monday, while 44 people in the city tested positive for the virus over the weekend.

The deaths were confirmed on Monday although they date back several days, with the delay down to the way Spain collects and announces its data.

But they prompted a warning on public health measures from La Linea mayor Juan Franco, and serve as a stark reminder of the impact of the virus as communities work to return to a semblance of normality.

While Algeciras continues to be the Campo municipality worst-affected by the virus, with 447 confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic, numbers are rising in La Linea, where a total of 324 people have tested positive for the virus in that timeframe.

Of the cases in La Linea, 198 were diagnosed from mid-August and 44 new cases were confirmed over the weekend.

On Monday Mr Franco published a video on his personal Facebook page in which he urged La Linea residents to adhere strictly to public health rules and guidance.

In the video, Mr Franco said: “We now have more than 300 people infected with the virus since the start of the pandemic in March, and over the past few days three new deaths have been registered.”

“I want to ask you all to comply with health and safety regulations, because we all have to come out of this complicated situation.”

“Please continue to use face coverings, wash your hands and avoid large gatherings.”

The Campo has now registered 38 deaths since the start of the global pandemic, including 20 deaths in Algeciras, six in Los Barrios, five in La Linea, five in Tarifa, one in San Roque and one in Jimena.

A 39-year old man, who had other underlying health concerns, was the first person to die in La Linea after contracting the virus, a spokesman for the Andalusian Health Service told the Chronicle.

Meanwhile the second was a woman who contracted the virus at the San Roque-based elderly residential care home, Alcala del Valle and died shortly after arriving at the hospital.

In addition, a 49-year old man and an 80-year old man, the second with underlying serious health conditions, also died.

The La Linea community is also mourning the death of a 47-year old man who was well-known in the town.

Despite the stark data, the Covid-19 situation in the Campo remains better than in other parts of Spain.

The mortality rate for each 100,000 Campo residents is currently at 14, which is much lower than the Spanish average which is currently 62 deaths per 100,000 after the Spanish Health Ministry set out to revise data on the 29,000 deaths recorded in the country.

Over the weekend, 110 people tested positive for Covid-19 bringing the total number of active cases in the Campo to 477.

Since the start of the public health emergency, 613 people in the Campo have made a full recovery, including 48 declared Covid-free at the weekend.

At present there are no patients in the intensive care units across the Campo hospitals, although three patients are currently in hospital recovering from the virus.