As Spain is continuing its battle against CoronaVirus and trying to get ahead of the pandemic, King Felipe and Queen Letizia are doing their best from home. The Royal Couple is trying to keep in touch with as many authorities as they can around the Nation. Today, Queen Letizia began her day with a videoconference with DOWN Spain.
Letizia talked to the officials and members of the Down Spain organization to find out how people with Down syndrome are coping with the situation created by COVID-19. Down Spain was established as a federation on April 23, 1991. With 90 federated associations, it is present in all the autonomous communities, making it the only organization for Down syndrome nationwide in Spain.
The programs cover all areas of the life cycle of people with Down syndrome and aim to ensure their autonomy for life. They support the family from the moment the expected child is known to have Down syndrome. They work from early care in the early years to programs to support the family environment, educational inclusion, leisure, supported employment and services to promote personal autonomy in adulthood.
From the first moment of the epidemic, concerns arose about whether this disease could be more prevalent in people with Down syndrome, due to their initial situation of greater risk (common chronic diseases, congenital heart defects and a greater propensity for immunosuppressed situations). In the first days, Down Spain prepared general recommendations for people with Down syndrome based on contributions from medical professionals who were intervening on the front line, insisting on avoiding the automatic relationship between people with Down syndrome = people at risk, and reassuring families. Down Spain has applied a teleworking system and reinforced its information channels, which in the case of this organization is very relevant, since the website reaches more than 1,400,000 unique users, with numerous inquiries and visits from families of the entire Ibero-American sphere.
Then Queen Letizia joined her husband King Felipe for a videoconference with representatives of the field of sport, which has also had a strong impact of the COVID-19 with the suspension of all competitions and training and postponement of major events such as the Olympic Games and Tokyo Paralympics.
In the initial phase of the epidemic, under the shadows of uncertainty, the Spanish teams went to compete in European leagues and then the elite athletes started training in confinement to maintain Spain’s competitiveness, but without knowing whether the Tokyo Games, which will finally take place next year, would be postponed.
Since March 14 sports activity has been paralyzed. High-performance centres were closed, professional league leagues – soccer and basketball – were suspended along with cups for the King and Queen, and other major sporting events, such as Euro 2020, in which Bilbao was the headquarters. As a consequence of the state of alarm, all Spanish school-age championships and university championships are also postponed.
The CSD, in coordination with the Ministry of Health, has implemented a series of measures to guarantee the health and well-being of athletes and their commitment to society. These measures include the opening of a communication channel with federations, leagues, and the Olympic and Paralympic committees, and also with professional clubs and sports federations. It is about maintaining permanent contact to report on the evolution of the pandemic and its administrative consequences. With the athletes, the CSD maintains the permanent support line planned prior to the postponement of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. It offers psychosocial consultations, guides on the labour or training problems of athletes, and the coordination of the temporary transfer of sports equipment and machines from the Go-Fit company.
Next, Felipe and Letizia talked to the representatives of the Aviation authorities – Spanish Airports and Air Navigations(AENA). The conversation highlighted the role of airports as part of the supply chain of medical equipment for Spaniards abroad. The representatives explained how the network’s airports are becoming part of the chain that allows all-cargo flights with sanitary material and supply products for the population to be serviced and, in addition, have allowed the Spanish to return home who are abroad and foreigners who were in Spain.
To collaborate in this crisis, Aena has donated two million euros through an agreement with the Superior Center for Scientific Research (CSIC) to contribute to the development of the projects it has underway related to treatments or vaccines against COVID-19. Furthermore, there is the possibility that Aena employees contribute through their “solidarity payroll”.
Aena has created an Operational Recovery Group, which tries to define safe airport processes (queue management, additional controls, cleaning and disinfection, worker protection, maximum capacity, minimum distances …) by the time the crisis begins to be overcome so that airline authorities can transfer confidence to their passengers, both from the national point of view and from the European perspective, in coordination with the airport managers integrated with ACI (Association of European Airports).
Apart from the video conferences, the couple has been in touch with many hospitals around Spain in the least few weeks. Yesterday, they had a telephonic conversation with the hospital “12 de noviembre” and received the latest data on the situation in the Community of Madrid, where the greatest numbers of COVID has been registered. They also talked to the heads of the main health centres in Gran Canaria and Tenerife, to find out the current situation 78 days after the first positive case was detected in Spain.
Yesterday, they talked to the Managing Director of the Health Area of Mérida and Irene Manjón de la Calle to learn about the situation caused by the pandemic in the two Extremaduran provinces. Felipe and Letizia also called the largest health centre in Catalonia, the Vall d’Hebrón hospital in Barcelona. The publicly owned health centre, administered by the Catalan Health Service under the Generalitat of Catalonia, has 1,100 beds on the floor and up to 200 in intensive care, which also make it the largest Catalan hospital ICU. Of its 9,000 professionals, almost 10% have suffered contagion.
For today’s meetings, Queen Letizia once again chose to recycle. She was wearing a black blazer with a wide white check and black trousers paired with a white top.
Letizia paired the outfit with her Boss Lara Italian Pebbled Loafers.
Her bezel stud earrings and Karen Hallam ring finished the look.