SPAIN’S Junta de Andalucia has affirmed that they will begin conducting PCR tests on all immigrants who arrive at the peninsula via paddleboat. This is the regional government’s latest effort to detect the coronavirus and monitor imported cases. Jesus Aguirre, the Health Minister for the Junta has confirmed that this will be a change from the previous protocol.
Previously, only the immigrants presented clear symptoms of Covid were subjected to PCR tests, however, Aguirre has announced that now all incoming persons will be tested. The Minister confirmed that there have been various issues with “coordination” between the Secretary of State for Migration and the Ministry of Health in Andalucia. Therefore, the new protocol instated two days ago, now demands that all immigrants undergo PCR testing.
The Ministry of Health will now consider incoming migrants to be “risk groups,” as the health crisis in Spain escalates once again. Since June, 1,969 immigrants have arrived to Andalucia via paddle boats. Out of these immigrants, around 29 have tested positive for the virus. The councillor for the Junta has also recalled that last year, around 20,000 people arrived at shores of Andalucia.
Hana Jalloul, the Secretary of State for Migration, has rallied for all incoming migrants to be tested via PCR since Andalucia is currently the only region who does not practise this protocol. Although the influx of migrants was stifled during the lockdown, there has been a substantial increase in their arrival, by land and by sea. Only yesterday, around 300 migrants attempted a mass crossover into Melilla, although only 50 were successful.