A woman was apprehended on a Spanish beach and led away in handcuffs after surfing while knowing she was infected with coronavirus.
Despite police repeatedly calling her in it took several minutes before the woman came out of the water at La Zurriola beach in the northern city of San Sebastian.
Local reports said the woman – whose name has not been released by police – had worked as a lifeguard at the nearby La Concha beach earlier this summer and a group of fellow lifeguards who had spotted her in the surf called police.
Arresting officers wore hazmat suits as they escorted the suspect away.
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The breach of Spain ’s strict quarantine rules could see the woman facing a fine of up to £5,500.
That penalty could increase to £10,000 if officials believe that she has infected someone else.
Spain’s health ministry reported 8,964 new cases of coronavirus today – bringing Spain’s total number of cases to 534,513. Spain is the first country in Western Europe to record more than half a million coronavirus infections.
There have been 29,594 deaths recorded in Spain as a result of the pandemic, many of them centred around madrid where the outbreak has hit hardest.
Over the past seven days almost a third of the 52,138 cases detected in Spain and 87 of the country’s 261 Covid-19 deaths were registered in Madrid.
Spain has the fastest rise in daily confirmed cases in Europe, but the county’s overall mortality rate since the pandemic first reached the country is around 6% in Spain, lower than that of Italy, Britain or France.
Some have speculated that the friendly, tactile Spanish culture may have been responsible for the disease’s rapid spread in Spain but Ildefonso Hernández-Aguado, professor at the Miguel Hernández University in Alicante and a former director general of public health for the Spanish government told The Guardian it wasn’t as simple as that.
“I don’t think the cultural question is enough to explain it, because I don’t think we’re that different to the Italians or the Portuguese,” he said.
He added that some local administrations had implemented poor contact-tracing rules and people, especially younger people, were inconsistent about wearing masks.
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