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COVID-19 passport will have to be used to enter bars, restaurants, and clubs in Murcia area of Spain

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MURCIA is bringing in COVID-19 passports to follow suit with regions like the neighbouring Valencian Community.

Murcia’s Health Minister, Juan Jose Pedreño, announced this Tuesday that the government is seeking permission from the regional Superior Court to introduce the measure.

The plan is to start using passports from midnight on the day after the Superior Court approves the measure, which is seen as a formality.

The document would be enforced until at least January 14.

The EU COVID certificate will operate for indoor access to all hospitality, nightlife, and banqueting/celebration venues.

Outdoor terraces would be unaffected.

Indoor capacity limits will however continue to vary between municipalities depending on local COVID case levels.

Juan Jose Pedreño said: “The passport will enable us to avoid imposing more drastic restrictions if infection rates continue to rise.”

The Minister added that most of the recent COVID outbreaks resulted from social gatherings, especially nightlife, where there is ‘greater social interaction and infections’.

Murcia: Juan José Pedreño nombra nuevos responsables del SMS, Farmacia, y Salud Pública | @diariofarma
HEALTH MINISTER, JUAN JOSE PEDREÑO (Murcia Government image)

Murcia’s hospitality association, HoyTu, called for COVID passports to be introduced at a news conference on November 26.

They argued that passports should be used in all indoor venues and not just hospitality.

Juan Jose Pedreño said that the COVID incidence rate had shown an average rise of 40% in the last week.

The Murcia region has a rate of 301.8 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days and 174.7 accumulated positives in the last week.

“Out of solidarity with everyone and to protect the most vulnerable people who are at risk, we ask those who have not yet been vaccinated to please do so,” appealed Pedreño.

He stressed that unvaccinated residents who had been infected are ‘twice as likely’ to be reinfected by COVID compared to those who were vaccinated.

“It has been shown that unvaccinated people can transmit the virus up to 12 times more than those who have been inoculated,” he added.

Spain announced this Tuesday that vaccinations will be extended to children aged between 5 and 11 years, perhaps from as soon as next week.

Last week, Juan Jose Pedrenò said that the highest number of new Murcia cases were coming from that age group.

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Alicante

Italian bank robbers linked to bungling one-legged thief travelled to Spain for heists on the Costa Blanca and Murcia

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AN Italian bank robbery gang wanted for a €344,355 stick-up at a Murcia bank in October has been arrested by the Policia Nacional.

One of the detained crew was the son of a man who suffered the indignity of his artificial leg falling off during a bungled Alicante robbery in September.

The five detained Italians come from Naples and besides Italy, had already clocked up a criminal record in Spain and Belgium.

Police surveillance in November and December logged frequent journeys carried out by gang members between Spain and their home country.

One of the criminals started offending in the late 1970s.

He used fake ID papers to help flee the clutches of Italian authorities over a 14-year jail term for robbery and kidnapping.

The gang stayed in upmarket hotels and paid monthly villa rentals of up €2,000 in the Barcelona, Costa Blanca, and Malaga areas.

They had no employment record in Spain.

A sixth gang member, who planned the October raid on a Santander Bank branch in Murcia City, is still on the run.

ONE-LEGGED LINK

The Police spotted a connection between the Murcia robbery and a failed September heist in Alicante that made international headlines.

A 45-year-old Italian bungled a Banco Sabadell raid after his prosthetic leg fell off just as he threatened a teller with a toy gun.

The Policia Nacional discovered the one-legged man’s son was one of the Murcia robbers and he was identified and arrested in a Marbella hotel in December.

Arrests this month featured three people in a car at an AP-7 tool both near Cartagena in Murcia.

Another detention involved a woman confined to a Barcelona hotel with COVID-19 after she was refused boarding on an Italy-bound ferry.

Numerous items used in the robberies including masks, hoods, gloves and bags were removed during searches in Barcelona, Marbella and Orihuela.

Seizures included €49,000 in €50 and €100 bills.

Two of the gang members have been imprisoned.

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Avian flu

Avian flu restrictions imposed in Murcia after several bird deaths in northern Spain

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SPAIN’S Murcia region has introduced restrictions on poultry farms in eight municipalities to counter the spread of avian flu.

The presence of poultry has also been stopped in any form of livestock competitions or cultural event across the whole of the area.

The ban also extends to local pigeon racing.

The outbreak is spreading across Europe and the contagious viral disease has caused the death of several wild birds in Catalunya.

Restrictions to farms have been introduced in Cartagena, Lorqui, Mazarron, Molina de Segura, San Pedro del Pinatar, San Javier, Los Alcazares and Torre Pacheco.

Chickens, ducks, geese, and turkeys must be kept in enclosed spaces to avoid contact with other wild birds that could get onto farms, attracted by food or water.

The municipalities where restriction orders have been placed have wetlands, lagoons, or other natural spaces that serve as a perfect habitat for a large number of migratory birds that could spread the flu.

The Murcia region has over 580 poultry farms, with 130 in the Campo de Cartagena area next to the Mar Menor lagoon.

It’s estimated there are 1.35 million laying hens of which 42,000 are ‘free-range’ meaning they have open air access.

All poultry can no longer get water from tanks that could be used by wild birds.

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alcantarilla

Fears over cosmetic surgeon fleeing Spain after patient dies of horrific liposculpture injuries in Murcia hospital

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A lawyer acting for the family of a Murcia woman, who died at the weekend, is trying to stop her cosmetic surgeon from fleeing Spain.

Iganacio Martinez described her state after a liposculpture procedure as ‘akin to being in a knife fight’.

Sara Gomez, 39, from Alcantarilla died of multiple injuries on Saturday and her funeral was held this Monday.

She paid €5,700 for her liposculpture work at the Virgen de la Caridad Hospital in Murcia City on December 2.

Liposuctions remove more fat cells while liposculptures reshape large amounts of fat.

The liposculpture procedure involves inserting tubes into the areas needing transformation.

It’s understood that tubes were placed in Sara’s ‘non-fatty’ areas resulting in blood and fecal matter gushing out.

Sara, who worked as a real estate agent, suffered severe multiple organ injuries and spent 29 days in Cartagena’s Santa Lucia Hospital ICU before losing her fight to stay alive.

Sara Gomez
SARA GOMEZ

Ignacio Martinez of the Patient Defender association, is handling the legal case on behalf of Sara’s family.

He had filed negligence charges prior to her death, but yesterday upgraded the complaint to alleged homicide.

The cosmetic surgeon, though practising in Spain, is a Chilean national.

Martinez has asked a Cartagena court to remove his passport as a ‘preventative measure’ and to suspend him.

The unnamed cosmetic surgeon said Sara’s five-hour procedure initially ‘went well’ on December 2 but she lost a ‘lot of fluids and blood’.

He transferred her to Santa Lucia where an emergency operation was performed.

Santa Lucia officials said that Sara was in ‘hypovolemic shock and in a life-threatening state’.

The private liposculpture procedure resulted in damage to her kidneys, liver, colon, intestine, and duodenum amongst a big list of injuries that she eventually could not survive.

Iganacio Martinez said: “Many cosmetic surgery cases come to my association but what has happened here is incomprehensible.”

A formal Murcia Ministry of Health investigation started last month into Sara’s case.

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