Local officials in Zahara de Los Atunes, a small town near the coast in Spain, received harsh criticism from all over the world after they sprayed bleach over the local Spanish beach in an attempt to ward off the COVID-19 pandemic.
The authorities had to accept their fault and apologize as environmentalists raised their voices against the move claiming that the ecosystem was being damaged because of this action. As per reports, the authorities sprayed the bleach using tractors over the Spanish beach. The solution was prepared by mixing 2% bleach in around 1,000 liters of water. The authorities claimed that the move was a part of their four-phase easing of the coronavirus restrictions.
Maria Dolores Iglesias, an environmental activist in the region, said that the move destroyed nesting and breeding ground for black-backed plover and other migratory birds. She further accused the authorities of crushing at least one bird nest and destroying all life forms on the Spanish beach in the process of disinfecting.
La naturaleza se recupera en muchas zonas, gracias a la ausencia de humanos. Pues nada, fumigamos las playas con lejía para joder a aves y demás microorganismos, en playas por las que no ha pasado nadie en 40 días.
Zahara de los Atunes, Cadiz. 👏👏👏👏
Óscar a la inteligencia.
— 🅹🅾🅷🅽 🆂🅼🅸🆃🅷 😷 (@NoMePeguesMucho) April 28, 2020
She said that the authorities did not follow any rules or regulations and that the move seemed illogical as the virus does not live on the ground but gets spread through human beings. She also added that while the disinfectant can be used on streets, using it in sensitive ecological grounds such as beaches heavily disrupts the natural ecological process.
Iglesias further accused the local authorities of seeing the ecological marvel as nothing but one long stretch of land. She added that disinfecting the area was unnecessary as it cleans itself.
The government of Andalusia is still speculating on whether to impose penalties on the officials. They have, however, offered their apologies and publicly admitted their mistake.
Zahara de Los Atunes enjoys a population of only 1,300 people. The local authorities have been disinfecting streets using bleach and fumigating any vehicles entering their town, in their efforts to protect the residents against COVID-19.
Fumigar con lejía playas en plena época de cría de aves o de desarrollo de la red de invertebrados que sustentarán la pesca costera y destrozar el valor turístico del litoral, no es una de las ideas de Trump. Está ocurriendo en Zahara de los Atunes 👇https://t.co/afCFLg1sVG
— Greenpeace España (@greenpeace_esp) April 27, 2020
Greenpeace, a nonprofit organization sworn to protect the environment, has drawn parallels between the local authorities’ actions and President Trump’s suggestion of injecting disinfectants into an infected patient. The organization further criticized the officials for disrupting the ecological cycle, which in turn would negatively impact the fishing business practiced by the local people who rely on the sea and the Spanish beach for sustenance.
Spain has been one of the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, with 24,275 total fatalities. The nation has been under a state of emergency since the 14th of March.
According to El Pais, Spain saw a decrease in new cases of infection with 1,308 on Tuesday, only to witness a sudden sharp rise of 2,144 on Wednesday.
Concerns arose as Pedro Sanchez, Prime Minister of Spain, declared that the administration was planning on removing some of the coronavirus restrictions and opening the country as soon as June. The relaxation would be accompanied by a four-phase plan. No specific dates have been set or announced yet, but authorities say that the relaxation would differ from province to province, depending on the virus outbreak conditions.
Image credit: quintanilla