Madrid is considering easing corona surveillance – and is receiving criticism
Coronavirus in the blood plasma. © pixabay.com
MADRID (dpa-AFX) – A relaxation of the monitoring of corona infections planned by the Spanish government to relieve the strained health care system is met with a lot of resistance. “There are measures that cannot be avoided. Until this wave is over, it is not advisable to change the system,” said the Vice President of the Spanish Society for Epidemiology, Óscar Zurriaga, in an interview with the German press Agency.
The professor at the University of Valencia emphasized: “The pandemic is not over yet and we do not know where it will lead us.” Covid-19 cannot be compared to flu. “In a bad flu season we can have around 1,500 deaths.” With Corona there are still significantly higher numbers.
Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said in an interview with the radio station “Cadena Ser” on Monday that Spanish experts had been working “for weeks” on treating Covid-19 like the flu and monitoring the development of infection cases using a guard system. One must take into account that Covid-19 is developing from a pandemic to an endemic disease, to which one must respond with new instruments. Meanwhile, the socialist politician made it clear that one was not aiming to go it alone: ”We are trying to initiate a debate at European level.”
Criticism of the idea was not only loud in Spain. WHO Europe also does not see the time yet to declare the pandemic an endemic. While fighting a pandemic crisis, one must be very careful about predicting the future, WHO Regional Director Hans Kluge said on Tuesday. When asked whether Omikron could represent the last corona wave, he said: “This virus has surprised us more than once.”
WHO expert Catherine Smallwood also made it clear that one could not speak of an endemic for a long time, which is mainly characterized by a stable circulation of the virus. “We still have a lot of uncertainty.” The virus is developing very quickly and is always presenting new challenges.
Spain has experienced a rapid increase in the corona numbers in the past few weeks, which is placing a heavy burden on the health care system and other sectors. The number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants within seven days, which in mid-October still had an annual low of around 18, was most recently at 1,462. However, the growth curve has flattened sharply for some time. For comparison: this 7-day incidence in Germany is 407./er/DP/eas
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