The mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, has ruled out introducing confinement to tackle the increase in COVID-19 infections in the Catalan capital, but said that “containment measures” are being studied. “There is no talk of confinement of the city but the door is open to some measures” Colau said following a meeting on Wednesday with the Catalan health mininster, Alba Vergés.

According to the mayor, technical teams are working to determine if any new measures should be introduced in the coming days. Health department representative Gemma Tarafa explained that measures will be taken “according to the data in hand,” noting that most contact between people in the city is happening during people’s leisure time with family and friends.

Barcelona City Council has reported that there are currently 29 active “small” outbreaks in the city, most of them involving three to five confirmed cases, but some with over ten people. The latest data from the health department shows an additional 246 cases of coronavirus in Barcelona since the last update, 24 hours earlier.

Contact tracing

The city council and the health department agreed at the meeting to better coordinate Covid-19 contact tracing from the moment a case is detected, until all their contacts have been isolated and are being monitored. Colau said that there have been “significant errors” in the current system and that monitoring is not being done “as it should be”.

The council also offered the health department between 40 and 50 additional staff to strengthen the contact tracing system, saying the 120 employed by the government is “insufficient”, but the department has so far ruled out the offer, saying that their team can be expanded to 900 if necessary.

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