A 113-year-old woman, said to be the oldest person living in Spain, has defeated the novel coronavirus at a retirement home where several other residents passed away due to the pandemic, the residence said. She has been identified as Maria Branyas, born in the US. She got contracted with the disease in April at the Santa Maria del Tura care home in the eastern city of Olot. She has lived for the past 20 years in Olot and fought the novel virus in isolation in her room.
A spokeswoman for the residence told the AFP news agency that she survived the disease and is doing fine, adding, that Branyas had only displayed mild symptoms. The spokeswoman said without giving any further details that “She feels good now, she took a test last week and the result came out negative.”
Branyas, a mother of three, was isolated in her room for weeks. Only a single employee in protective gear was allowed in to check on her, according to Catalan regional television TV3, which broadcasted the images of the centenarian.
In a video, Branyas can be heard calling the staff at the residence in a very kind and attentive manner. When an employee asked her for the secret of her long life, she replied that she is lucky to enjoy good health. Branyas’ daughter Rosa Moret said that her mother was in shape, wanting to talk, to explain, to reflect, she has become herself again. There have been several articles published in Spanish media in recent years about Branyas, considered to be the oldest person in the country.
Reportedly, she was born on March 4, 1907, in San Francisco. Her father, who was from northern Spain, worked as a journalist. She moved to Spain with her family on a boat during World War I and also lived through the Spanish flu pandemic that swept the world in 1918-19. She had also lived through Spain’s 1936-39 civil war. Spain has been one of the worst affected countries due to the novel coronavirus, with nearly 27,000 COVID-19 deaths confirmed so far.