Spain’s public face for Covid-19 updates criticised for Mallorca jaunt

ABSENT: The epidemiologist skipped Monday’s press conference on the pandemic situation to record a TV programme on the Balearic island, Spanish press claim CREDIT: Ministerio de Sanidad Facebook @MinSanidad

SPAIN’S public face for Covid-19 updates has attracted criticism for a jaunt to Mallorca this week at a time when new cases of the virus continue to surge across the country.

Fernando Simon, the husky voiced epidemiologist who heads the Health Ministry’s CCAES Health Alert and Emergency Situation Centre, has been in the Balearic Island filming for a popular TVE programme featuring a guest celebrity trying out high-adrenalin activities in the great outdoors, regional press claims.

“In the middle of a second wave of Covid Fernando Simon doesn’t have anything else to do except go and film an episode of Planeta Calleja having adventures”, tweeted one vlogger, a view echoed in other comments posted on social media.


Another tweeter who says they live in one of the four Palma neighbourhoods currently subjected to exception restrictions to halt the spread of the virus, described Simon as “shameless.”

According to the Diario de Mallorca the CCAES director flew into Mallorca on a business class flight from Madrid on Saturday.

He was reportedly spotted strolling through the streets of coastal resort Cala Millor in Son Servera on Monday with the programme’s presenter, adventurer Jesus Calleja, before taking a ride on hot air balloon over much of the south and east of the island.

Press also reported he would be scuba diving, potholing and mountain biking.

What is definite is that the epidemiologist was absent from Monday’s Covid-19 updates press conference.

It was instead the Secretary of State for Health Silvia Cazon who appeared before the cameras to talk about the latest figures and the current pandemic situation.

Responding to a question about Simon’s absence, the secretary of state did not mention the Mallorca jaunt, but said he was “enjoying a well-deserved break.”

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