Practical information on COVID-19

Following the detection of various cases of COVID-19 in Barcelona, a municipal committee has been set up to coordinate and monitor the situation and accurately analyse the evolution of the virus in the city. The committee is in constant coordination with the Catalan health authorities, with information continuously being updated and made disseminated. It’s worth bearing in mind that 80% of people infected have minor symptoms and the main recommendation in Barcelona today is to carry on as normal and follow the usual steps as for common flu.

26/02/2020 14:03 h

Ajuntament de Barcelona

The coordination and monitoring committee set up by Barcelona City Council to make a detailed analysis of the evolution of COVID-19 in the city is headed by the Councillor for Health, Gemma Tarafa, with all municipal manager’s offices and municipal services represented. The group is working in conjunction with the health authorities belonging to the Government of Catalonia and the Spanish state. A protocol has been in place in Catalonia for some weeks now, coordinated by the Catalan Public Health Agency, to keep track of this type of coronavirus. The protocol is being updated daily in line with recommendations issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the rest of health authorities.

Telephone support

The 010 and 012 phone services have been adapted to provide better support for citizens by handling relating doubts and queries, while healthcare phone support for people who feel unwell is being offered by the 061 service.

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a new coronavirus illness detected for the first time in December 2019, in the Chinese city of Wuhan. Coronovirus is a broad family of viruses that normally affect animals but which on certain occasions such as this can be transmitted from animals to people. The viruses cause clinical symptoms ranging from common colds to severe pneumonia.


The most common symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, coughs and difficulty breathing. In the most serious cases, the infection can cause severe breathing problems, kidney failure and even death. It’s worth noting that such serious cases generally only affect the elderly or people with chronic conditions affecting their heart, lungs or immune systems.

Symptoms can take between one and fourteen days to appear, the most usual incubation period being around five or six days.

Transmission of the virus

The transmission of COVID-19 mainly occurs through contact with respiratory discharges from people with the illness, such as coughs and sneezes. These discharges can infect others if they come into contact with their nose, eyes or mouth.

Prevention recommendations

In Barcelona and the rest of Catalonia, the current recommendations are for people to carry on as normal and follow the usual prevention measures for common flu.

  • Wash your hands often with disinfectant for hands, soap and water or alcohol-based solutions.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough, preferably into your elbow or with a single-use handkerchief.
  • Keep a safe distance of two metres from people with symptoms of an acute respiratory infection.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

Activity in public

There are no public health recommendations or restrictions on activity in the city at present.


Masks are only effective to prevent people already infected from passing the virus on to others. Consequently, their use is not recommended among the healthy population, only for medical and care staff in who are in direct contact with people with illnesses.

What should I do in suspected cases of coronavirus?

Any case, confirmed or not, should be referred to public health services, which are ready to act. The protocols are clear and specifically designed for these situations. If you have respiratory symptoms such as a cough, sore throat, fever or sensation of having trouble breathing, and you’ve been in contact with somebody with the disease or who has been to one of the countries at risk, such as China or northern Italy, stay at home and call the health services on 061.

For more information on COVID-19 go to:

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