The Minister of Health has given a wake-up call to the mayors of 14 municipalities in the Alicante province where coronavirus cases are soaring.

In a video conference held on Tuesday Ana Barceló told the mayors of Orihuela, Benidorm, Dénia, Ibi, Ondara, La Nucia, Crevillent, Hondón de las Nieves, Pinoso, Callosa de Segura, Benilloba, Banyeres and Villena that they must pay extra heed to the monitoring of family and social gatherings and of large parties and meetings.

She said that in the last two weeks the number of PCR positives has also risen to 217 new cases in Dénia; 97 in Benidorm; 81 in Orihuela; 43 in Ibi; 31 in Banyeres; 26 in Ondara; 24 in Crevillent; 23 in La Nucia; 20 in Callosa de Segura; 12 in Pinoso; 5 in Hondón de las Nieves and 3 in Benilloba.

In the videoconference, the minister was joined by the general director and the regional secretary of Health.

She said that in all of the municipalities addressed, Public Health experts have detected a growing incidence of outbreaks of covid-19 in the last 7 and 14 days, a situation of risk about which the health authorities cannot hide their concern.

Barceló told the mayors that if the number of infections continues to increase at the current rate, the Valencian Government will have to adopt more restrictive measures to cut the transmission of the virus. Confinement is one of them, although at the moment it is only one of the options.

Most of the infections are taking place as a result of private gatherings outside the workplace, especially social and family get togethers.

Hence, the head of Health has asked the 14 mayors to intensify surveillance and information to members of the public to avoid parties, meetings and botellones, where people congregate in public areas to socialise.

Barceló has also urged them to continue updating local health regulations so that they are understood and correctly applied by members of the public. She said that people must not relax in their application of safety measures such as the use of the mask in any type of activity both indoors and outdoors; hand washing with soap and water or hydroalcoholic gel, and keeping interpersonal safety distance.

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