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Croatian physician to receive Princess of Asturias Award for COVID fight

Princess of Asturias Award ceremony (Photo credit: by Fpasturias, CC-BY-SA-3.0)

ZAGREB, Sept 18 (Hina) – Croatian physician Amadea Mjertan, who has been treating COVID-19 patients in Madrid since March, will receive the Princess of Asturias Award together with other health workers in Spain as a sign of gratitude for their front line commitment to the fight against the new virus.

The Princess of Asturias Awards have been presented since 1981 in a number of categories for special achievements in the arts, communication and humanities, social sciences, sports, literature, natural sciences, technology, world heritage and the progress of humanity.

This year the award will be given to all medical staff who have been treating COVID patients in Spain since March, often without the necessary equipment and in difficult conditions.

The 30-year-old Mjertan of Pleternica has been working at the Hospital Universitario de la Princesa in downtown Madrid for three years. She is an anesthesiology resident in the intensive care unit where the first COVID patients started arriving in late February.

The collective award will be presented in Oviedo in the northern province of Asturias on October 16. The health workers will not receive the award given to individuals in other categories – a statuette created by sculptor Joan Miro, a diploma, a pin and €50,000.

When collectives are awarded, the individuals are not given replicas of the diploma and the statuette, the Princess of Asturias Foundation said in an e-mail to Hina.

Since the start of the epidemic, Spain has registered 625,650 coronavirus cases and 30,405 dead. Doctors and nurses continue to treat those infected, whose numbers are rising again.

Exposed to an aggressive virus, they have unconditionally and committedly cared for patients during extremely long shifts, sometimes without adequate protective equipment and without the necessary materials. They have been a model for citizens and shown true human values, the foundation said, explaining why health workers are receiving a collective award.

The awards are expected to be presented by Princess Leonor de Borbon.


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