Technology

Experts blame lack of restrictive, short-term measures for increase in coronavirus infections

Publication: Sunday, January 3, 2021 3:53 PM

Spain is facing a general increase in infections and experts are worried. In this sense, Juan Gestal, professor of preventive medicine at USC, warns that “in a few days we will see the results of this train of Christmas super-transmission events.”

The cumulative incidence closed 2020 on the rise throughout the territory. Despite this, there are autonomous communities that face this rise in a much better situation than others, as in the case of Galicia. There, active cases peaked in the second wave on November 6. However, their commitment to surgical isolation by the councils allowed them to cut it in half until the end of 2020.

According to Juan José Badiola, director of the Center for Emerging Communicable Diseases, “we have to go small to prevent this situation that has occurred at the local level from being transferred to other places”.

Surgical confinements are also the flagship measure of the Community of Madrid. However, their cases have only increased since October. In fact, it closed 2020 with over 4,000 positives incorporated in 24 hours. For Daniel López Acuña, former director of health action at the WHO, “what has gone wrong in several autonomous communities, including Madrid, is excessively flexible measures”.

For their part, the Balearic Islands are experiencing an unprecedented rebound in infections and 2021 has started with more than 800 cases in 24 hours. Experts attribute this not only to the increase in mobility at that time, but also to the arrival of the new British variant.

The situation is similar in Extremadura: during the first week of December it barely exceeded one hundred daily cases, but on the last day of that month 936 new positive cases were announced in 24 hours. Daniel López Acuña attributed it to the fact that “Extremadura has not applied perimeter containment and, in addition, there has been a relaxation of the restriction measures”.

For its part, Asturias closed 2020 by lowering the coffers. For its president, shutting down non-essential hotels and shops was a key step in tipping the curve. “The restrictive measures must be very well defined: the closing of shops, the curfews must be clear and, above all, there must be a lot of responsibility”, underlines José Antonio López, virologist at UAM.

In the end, according to José Félix Hoyos, specialist in epidemics, the important thing is “to unite health measures with social and economic measures and then rid them of any political interest”, because the experts stress that few restrictive measures and in the short term do not work.

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