Heavy snow disrupts flights, classes in Spain

A tractor moves along a snow covered road between Uitzti and Aldatz, around 60km from Pamplona in northern Spain. Authorities are predicting fresh snowfall and extreme low temperatures for the north of the country. (AP Photo)
Updated 05 February 2018

Heavy snow disrupts flights, classes in Spain

MADRID: More than 40 flights were canceled in Madrid and tens of thousands of schoolchildren around Spain had to skip class Monday as snow fell heavily over much of the country.
The airport in the Spanish capital was forced to close two of its four runways, leading to the cancelation of 49 flights as visibility deteriorated, a spokeswoman for airport management company Aena told AFP.
The runways were reopened later in the day, she said.
In the central region of Castilla-La Mancha, more than 38,000 students stayed home as schools and bus routes were closed, the regional government said.
In other regions in Spain’s northwest and northeast, several thousand schoolchildren also avoided class because of the snow.
This is just the latest snow-induced disruption to hit Spain.
Last month, authorities deployed 250 soldiers to help rescue thousands of people trapped in their vehicles by heavy snow on a highway near Madrid.


Mumbai hospital shut after surge in coronavirus cases among staff

Updated 4 min 48 sec ago

Mumbai hospital shut after surge in coronavirus cases among staff

  • Wockhardt Hospital has been declared a ‘containment zone’ after the cases were confirmed
  • Mumbai, home to 12.5 million people according to the 2011 census, has so far confirmed 458 cases

MUMBAI: A major private hospital in Mumbai was shut to new patients and declared a coronavirus containment zone on Monday after 26 nurses and three doctors tested positive, an official said.
Since the virus hit India — which has been under lockdown since March 25 with 109 deaths so far — medical workers have complained about not being given adequate protective gear.
Mumbai city authority spokesman Vijay Khabale-Patil said that the Wockhardt Hospital has been declared a “containment zone” after the cases were confirmed.
“Three hundred staffers have been quarantined and the hospital is shut,” he said.
The United Nurses Association (UNA) in Mumbai accused hospital management of failing to protect staff by refusing to let them wear appropriate safety gear.
“They told the medical staffers to wear simple (surgical) masks... and attend to the patient,” said Akash S. Pillai, UNA general secretary for Maharashtra state, of which Mumbai is the capital.
“They were thinking that if the staff wore protective gear, family members of COVID-19 patients would get scared,” he said.
“Many well-known hospitals in Mumbai and Pune are putting their staffers through the same risks,” he said.
He added that Wockhardt waited too long to carry out tests on its staff, thereby increasing the possibility for infections to spread.
India has so far recorded over 4,000 coronavirus cases.
But experts caution the real numbers are likely to be far higher, with the country carrying out little testing of its 1.3 billion population compared to many other countries.
Mumbai, home to 12.5 million people according to the 2011 census, has so far confirmed 458 cases, including five in the Dharavi area, home to one of Asia’s biggest slums, and 30 deaths.