Police in Spain arrested a 40-year-old man after he allegedly infected 22 people with the coronavirus, including three 1-year-olds, when he went to work and the gym despite having symptoms of COVID-19.
Spain’s national police said the agency started to investigate the infections in January when authorities became aware of a COVID-19 outbreak at a “well known” workplace in the town of Manacor on the island of Mallorca. The man believed to be at the center of the outbreak showed up to work, and even after his colleagues expressed concern about his symptoms, he refused to go home, police said.
After work, he went to a medical center to undergo a COVID test, but then went to the gym and back to work the next day — despite not having his results and still showing symptoms, including a 104 degree fever, authorities said. He returned to work again the following day and refused to go home despite his coworkers and bosses telling him to, concerned he could infect them with the virus, police said.
During the day he would walk around the business, lower his mask and cough, saying, “I’m going to infect you all with the coronavirus,” Spain’s national police said.
At the end of the day, he was informed that the COVID test came back positive. Five of his coworkers ended up testing positive, then went on to infect several relatives, including three babies who were only a year old. The man is also accused of infecting three people at the gym who ended up passing the virus on to several family members.
In total, 22 people were infected with the virus, the national police said. None of them ended up having to be admitted to the hospital.
The man was arrested on suspicion of assault, and on Saturday his case was handed over to the judicial authority.
There have been about 3.5 million cases of COVID-19 in Spain and nearly 77,600 deaths, according to John Hopkins University.