Four cases of the new super-contagious strain of coronavirus have been confirmed in Madrid and three other suspected cases are being studied, according to Antonio Zapatero, Deputy Minister of Public Health and Plan Covid-19.
An alert was issued to all health centres in the region on December 23 amid suspicions that the new British strain of coronavirus, which is known as B.1.1.7, was already present in Madrid because there were several case studies related to people who had recently arrived from the UK.
The Microbiology Services have confirmed three cases in the same family, who are the father, mother and sister of a man who arrived from the UK by plane last week.
Minister Zapatero has specified that the index case arrived in Madrid between Thursday and Friday last week. He was tested for antigens and the result was positive, so he was isolated, but no PCR test was performed and no samples have been obtained to confirm the genomic sequence of the new variant.
The fourth confirmed case is that of a young person from the UK who landed in Madrid on December 20 underwent a PCR test by a special procedure to identify the virus genome.
None of the four cases are serious and they are not connected, according to Minister Zapatero, who has called for calm saying the British variant of the virus is more contagious, but it does not lead to a more serious clinical picture.
The results of tests on the father, mother and daughter will be known on Tuesday or Wednesday of next week.
Minister Zapatero has called for caution and urged people to wear face masks, ventilate their properties, follow social distancing guidelines and wash their hands frequently to prevent the virus from spreading.
Madrid's Health Minister Ruiz Escudero is insisting that border controls be strengthened immediately saying the two people who contracted the new strain of coronavirus entered Spain via Madrid-Barajas Airport.