Spanish authorities ask pregnant women to abstain from giving birth until the end of the pandemic

The Spanish government announced new measures aimed at stopping the spread of the virus this morning and asked the population, especially pregnant women, to stop congesting the health system with their “selfish concerns like childbirth”.

Health Minister Salvador Illa announced the closure of several schools and colleges and announced the cancellation of sports and cultural event this morning, before admonishing the population for not respecting the government’s directives.

Mr. Illa argued that much of the Spanish healthcare system is taken up by people with other problems than the Covid-19, seriously limiting the country’s capacity to fight the virus.

“Every day, dozens of  pregnant women encumber our hospitals because they are too selfish to wait. We are fighting a pandemic, it’s not the time for whims like having babies.”   

The Health Minister claimed reminded pregnant women that hospitals are dangerous places for infections at the moment and asked them to delay their visits “as long as possible”.

“Doctors and nurses are working 18 hours a day in a virus-filled environment. This is not a place for newborns. I know you pregnant ladies are often emotional and capricious, but we need you to do your part and hold it in a few weeks.” 

According to official statistics, 21 Spanish women contracted the coronavirus while at the hospital for childbirth, and 13 babies were also infected. This includes this 21-year mother of two and her newborn son Pablo, in Barcelona.

Spain, like several European countries, is struggling to control the Covid-19 pandemic.

The number of deaths and hospitalizations has been increasing dramatically over the last two weeks, putting extreme pressure on the country’s health system.

The authorities have already shut down several services to concentrate resources on fighting the epidemics.

They notably stopped esthetic surgery,  treatments for mental problems, erectile problems or sexually transmitted diseases.

According to experts, many more services could be closed over the next few weeks, including maternity wards.

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