Saturday, January 22

Spain returns to extreme risk but now trusts everything to tracking




Ten days after the elimination of the use of outdoor masks and the opening of borders, Spain has returned to the European podium of countries with the most coronavirus infections. This Wednesday only the United Kingdom surpassed it. Despite the explosion of infections –137 percent in the last week–, the Government of Pedro Sánchez continued in profile this Wednesday during the meeting of the Interterritorial Health Council.

The alert presentation had suggested on Monday to the Ministry of Health that order the closure of nightlife and even that he valued the introduction of mobility limitations during the night and early morning, as requested by Castilla y León. However, Minister Carolina Darias, limited herself this Wednesday to offering the communities five million antigen tests and more tracers trained by the Armed Forces.

“The curfew is not on the table,” the minister settled during the press conference after the meeting, while ruling out the general closure of nightlife throughout the territory. «The alert presentation makes proposals to assess but it is the autonomous communities that must make the decisions based on their epidemiological situation. Our work is coordination and we will always go hand in hand with the communities, ”explained Darias.

“Change your gaze on the data”

Hours before, the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez – on an official visit to Estonia – had stressed that depending on the evolution of the pandemic, there are a series of answers that the autonomies can give «without the need to approve anything more than what has already been agreed between the Ministry of Health and communities ”. “In Spain there is a decentralized system, health is in the hands of the autonomous governments and, therefore, decisions must be shared with them,” he said.

To try to reduce the pressure on the Government, Darias tried this Wednesday to reduce the weight of the overwhelming numbers of infections and invited to “take another look at the data.” «The cumulative incidence has been the reference figure but now with 50 percent of the population vaccinated with a single dose we must look at the number of hospitalizations and fatalities. We must take another look at the list of indicators, “insisted the minister, despite acknowledging that it is still too early to know how these infections on hospital pressure will be translated.

According to the Ministry of Health, one in a hundred positives for Covid-19 between the ages of 20 and 29 is admitted to the hospital, while that figure rises to three among young people between 30 and 39 years old.

To justify the lack of initiative of the Government in the fight against the pandemic, the minister appealed to “not demonize any sector” but he immediately recognized that the current outbreaks are related to “nightlife and end-of-year trips.”

Among the proposals that Health put on the table this Wednesday was that of overlap vaccination ages to protect young people. The measure had been suggested on Monday by the Secretary of State for Health, Silvia Calzón, but several communities had already decided to anticipate the Government, alarmed by the 640 infections per hundred thousand inhabitants that Spain registered at the beginning of this week among the population more young. Yesterday that figure was already close to 814.

Madrid, Basque Country and Castilla-La Mancha They were the last to announce the launch of the self-appointment process to start the vaccination of people over 16 years of age. A process that they had already opened Catalonia, Navarra, the Balearic Islands, the Canary Islands, Ceuta and Melilla.

Used to fighting the pandemic alone Since the state of alarm waned on May 9, the communities have also announced a slowdown in the de-escalation since Monday without waiting for the Government’s support. In this sense, Catalonia announced on Tuesday the suspension of activity in nightlife venues for fifteen days from Friday, while Aragon decided yesterday to advance the closure of nightclubs to 12.30 at night and request a customer record . Bars and restaurants must be without customers at 11 pm and it may not be consumed in the bars.

With the aim of stopping the virus in the macro-bottles, Galicia proposed this Wednesday close its parks and beaches at night to avoid crowds of young people. It will also require a complete vaccination certification or a negative PCR to access nightlife venues in municipalities with a medium level of contagion.

“Forceful” answer

Despite the fact that the incidence of the virus grows exponentially in all communities, the rate is uneven. With 187 cases per one hundred thousand inhabitants, Extremadura yesterday raised the perimeter closure of four municipalities with a cumulative incidence of more than 500 cases, while Madrid and the Basque Country have chosen to wait for the evolution of this fifth wave before taking action. The Interdepartmental for Prevention and Action against Covid of the Valencian Generalitat will meet today and rule out agreeing a “forceful” response to stop the increase in infections, according to its president, Ximo Puig, announced on Wednesday.

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