The Valencian Minister of Health, Ana Barceló, has confirmed that a second analysis has detected the presence of coronavirus in a patient suffering from pneumonia who died at the Arnau de Vilanova Hospital in Valencia on 13 February. However, she said that, regardless of stories appearing in the press, it could not be confirmed that the cause of death was the coronavirus.
The Minister made the announcement in a press conference held on Tuesday afternoon, in which she explained that this case had been detected after the change of criteria for defining causes of death that the Ministry introduced last week, which now requires a second analysis of those deaths from pneumonia of unknown origin.
With this case, there are now 19 recorded cases of coronavirus in the Valencian Community, one of them being the person who died.
In addition to the deceased, another case was confirmed on Tuesday, that of a woman, who is being treated at the Hospital de Manises.
The Minister said that an autopsy had been performed on the patient who “was not young”, and had been in Nepal. “We will continue to monitor closely and to take the necessary measures,” she said.
Barceló has also said that the Community will now adopt the directive of the Ministry of Health with regard to major sporting events that will involve the influx of large numbers of fans from the countries considered as risk zones of the new coronavirus and as such the Valencia Basketball match against Milan Olympiad on 5 March and the Champions League football match between Valencia vs Atalanta on March 10 will both be played behind closed doors.
Spain is not the first country to take such measures to stop coronavirus from spreading, as France have banned having 5,000 or more people in one space since last Saturday. The French Minister of Health, Olivier Veran, announced that the cancellation of mass open-air events in France will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
The Spanish Minister of Health says that the instruction is “consistent with the measures that are currently being taken in those countries that are risk areas”, such as Italy where a total of 1,800 people have contracted the disease of which 52 have died.