A video on social media, an official announcement, an apology. That's how Vox, the Spanish far-right party, revealed that Javier Ortega Smith, secretary-general, had tested positive for the new coronavirus.
It was Santiago Abascal, leader of the Vox, who showed up in the video posted on the party's social networks, officially confirming that Ortega Smith was infected and apologizing for the “mistake”, in the words of the Spanish politician, who was holding a congress two days earlier with more than 9,000 people. All of this, on March 10: since then, Santiago Abascal himself has already been diagnosed with coronavirus, Macarena Olona and Carlos Zambrano, two other elements of the party, also tested positive and Ortega Smith has shared several publications where he shows how it has been your day to day quarantined.
Just four days after it was confirmed that Javier Ortega Smith had coronavirus, it is possible to take a look back at the Spanish politician's last month: the places he visited, the events he attended and the people he contacted. According to The worldOrtega Smith was in Milan a month ago, on Valentine's Day weekend, and was seen by several Spaniards who were also in the Italian city and noted on social media the presence of the 51-year-old politician in the Duomo area, the cathedral Milanese. At this point, in the middle of February, Italy was not yet in the dramatic situation it is currently experiencing – only a week later the context would become more serious, with the marked increase in the number of cases, the identification of Milan as a source of contagion and the cancellation of events like the Venice Carnival.
Javier Ortega Smith returned to Spain and for the next four weeks was present at several public events with hundreds of people. On February 29, he was at the presentation of Vox candidates to the autonomous elections in the Basque Country, which were scheduled for April 5, in Vitoria, one of the main contagion spots in Spain. On March 3 he met with Macarena Olona, spokesman for the parliamentary group that ended up also testing positive for the new coronavirus, in a demonstration organized by Jusapol, an association of police and civil guards. On March 5, he was at a breakfast at the New Economy Forum. Finally, on March 8, two days before being diagnosed, Ortega Smith was with Santiago Abascal at the Vox congress, at the Vistalegre Palace in Madrid, together with 9,000 other people. At the congress, and as has been highlighted by the press, the one who is now being designated as the “zero patient” of Spanish politics was seen coughing profusely, a detail that even made Santiago Abascal visibly uncomfortable.
In addition to Ortega Smith, Abascal, Olona and Zambrano, also Ana Pastor, PP deputy, Carolina Darias, minister for Territorial Policy and Public Service, and Irene Montero, minister for Equality, were diagnosed with Covid-19.
This Saturday, the Spanish Council of Ministers will decree a state of alert in the country, restricting movements through the regions and leaving home to buy food, medicines and the need to work.
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