► 1st V-P Carmen Calvo is hospitalized, tests positive for coronavirus ►
A conservative judge in Madrid has opened an investigation into the government’s authorization of the 8th March International Women’s Day march in Madrid as well as other mass marches and sporting events, following an allegation that the government acted irresponsibly in authorizing the events because it already knew the extent of the spread of coronavirus in Spain.
Judge Carmen Rodríguez-Medel, a member of the conservative Professional Association of the Magistracy and a former advisor to Justice Minister Rafael Catalá during the conservative Partido Popular government of former President Mariano Rajoy, opened the investigation on the grounds that the government go-ahead for the marches and events may have constituted prevarication (concealment of evidence) and culpable and reckless conduct, both crimes under Spain’s penal code.
Also on Wednesday, the Spanish government announced the Vice-President Carmen Calvo, who participated in the front line of the Socialist party delegation at the Women’s Day march in Madrid, has tested positive in hospital for the coronavirus. The government said it is not clear when Calvo contracted the disease, but she is now the third government minister to test positive.
► ► CLICK ABOVE TO WATCH VIDEO OF 8M MARCH ► ►
Others include Minister for Territorial Policy and Public Administration, Carolina Darius, also in the front line of the Socialist delegation at the march; as well as march participant Irene Montero, Minister for Equality and partner of Pablo Iglesias, Podemos co-founder and Spain’s 2nd Vice-President. Begoña Gómez, wife of Spanish President Pedro Sanchez, participated alongside Calvo in the Women’s Day march and has also tested positive. She is in self-isolation quarantine at home.
Responding to charges that the government knew prior to the 8th March afternoon marches and sporting events of the extent of the coronavirus spread, Minister of Health Salvador Illa told a session of Congress on Wednesday that the figures pointing to a sharp spike in the contagion rate were not available to the government until late at night on the 8th of March.
In retrospect, Illa said, the government now recognizes that considering an 8-10 incubation period for the coronavirus, the spike in the spread of the virus noted late on 8th March means that the infections in those positive cases occurred in the last week of February.
“We estimate that towards the last week of February is when the important contagion occurred in some parts of Spanish territory, specifically in the Community of Madrid,” Illa said.
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