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Luis García Plaza: “In Saudi Arabia the response to the coronavirus has been very rapid”

first_imgHas an alarm state been decreed?Not quite. There are recommendations, not prohibitions, but there is a strong predisposition of people. There are no prohibitions, but, for example, shopping malls and gyms are closed. There is a limitation to enter the compound where they live in housing estates. It does not come out, except the imperiously necessary. If you go to the pharmacy, they take your temperature upon arrival in case you have a fever and then they act. If someone has symptoms, the test can be done, but the number of people affected with Spain is incomparable.And the sports situation?Competitions and trainings are suspended until April 14. Then it will be seen. We were improving in the championship and we were participating in a competition, the Arab Club Championship Cup. The two semifinal matches against Al-Ittihad have been postponed. We were able to fight for a title, which is always a nice thing.Is your team also Spanish?Yes, we are 6. They live in another compound, so there is no in-person contact. We carry it as best we can. You can’t do much work, because there are neither training sessions nor games. As an expat, I could go back to Spain, but we still don’t know what will happen here. If at any time the competition is to be resumed …In that sense, what do you think about the measures taken by UEFA regarding its competitions and the league’s aspiration to finish?Well, first is health and then everything else. It is true that football moves masses. That competitions be postponed is fine. Right now you cannot play and, from there, see how this battle against the virus evolves. UEFA has acted sensibly. How are you?I’m fine. Bored, worried and frustrated, mainly because of what is happening in Spain, for having to be here at home alone without being able to be and help my own. There is nothing left to do but to get used to it. I’m connected all the time, to talk to my family and to see what’s going on there. I am worried about them, about my parents … I try to talk as much as possible with them, with my friends. I take charge of the situation, which in Spain is very difficult. I send a hug and all the strength in the world from here.Is your family not with you?No, they cannot come. They had to fly to Spain for a medical examination of my wife. We trusted what the news said, it seemed that it was going to be controlled and we advanced that trip. But after the first outbreaks, Saudi Arabia quickly banned flights from affected countries and were no longer able to return. No one could enter from countries where an outbreak was located.What is the situation in Saudi Arabia regarding the coronavirus?They are in a phase of contained concern. Here they were very fast, the response has been very fast, as seen a month after the first infection. As for the first 20 cases, they took drastic measures immediately. Children were sent home, closed schools, and closed-door parties. In two weeks, the truth, of those 20 cases, the number has risen in a controlled way and that is the feeling they carry. Although with this, obviously you never know. But they are optimistic. The number of infected has nothing to do with those in Spain (Arabia has at this time, according to official sources 133 and no deaths).last_img

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