“I don’t think this is the time”

The director of the Health Alerts and Emergencies Coordination Center (CCAES), Fernando Simón, asked “to leave a margin” to the new measures envisaged in the state of alarm approved last week to verify if it is effective in controlling the sharp increase in Covid-19 infections, in order to avoid house arrest.

“We are in a situation which, from a care point of view, is starting to be critical, but we are not in a situation equivalent to that of March or April. There are still ICUs that have not been reactivated and a lot of scheduled activities, “he said exceptionally. For this reason, he said, “you have to give the system a margin.” Even so, he said, “when the decision has to be made, it will be made”: “It could be tomorrow, the next day, in three days or it may not be necessary”.

During a press conference on Tuesday, the epidemiologist from the Ministry of Health did not rule out going to severe confinement, but urged to be “retained”. “The rejection of any measure will never be ruled out, but we must be limited. We cannot take all measures when the situation does not require it. We must give the measures the capacity to show their effectiveness or not,” said he declared.

Simón acknowledged that there are many autonomous communities with intensive care units that are “very borderline”, but stressed that “the characteristics of the cases are different” from those of March and April.

“For the moment, the vast majority have not had to suspend a large part of the programmed activity of hospitals. From the point of view of care, the situation is starting to be critical, but we are not in an equivalent to that. March and April, “he maintained. In this regard, he insisted on “giving the health system a margin to show a certain elasticity”.

“At the moment, I don’t think the time is right (for house arrest). We can still give ourselves some leeway to make this decision,” he reiterated, noting that “the first step” is “to leave a margin for all measurements and, therefore, make the decisions.”

The epidemiologist stressed that it took time to assess the restrictions, according to what was said yesterday by the Minister of Health, Salvador Illa. “It is not a race to see who implements the most measures, but to find an intermediate point, by putting the health of the population in the foreground,” he said.

The expert warned that the increase in the number of cases “will generate a complicated situation” of hospital pressure. At this point, he reported that some Autonomous Communities already have more than 40% occupancy and that the cumulative incidence in 14 days in the whole of Spain is “very high”, with 527 cases per 100,000 inhabitants , which places our country in 16th position at European level.

In view of these data, Simón warned that the death toll will continue to rise “even if the transmission is controlled” in the coming days, as approximately 7 days elapse between the start of the increase in cases and its translation. in number of deaths: “The deceased are always observed one week after the data begins to accumulate.”

Finally, regarding the decrease in new cases in the Community of Madrid in recent weeks, Simón assured that this was due to the use of antigenic tests which allow to isolate more quickly the narrow cases, as well as “of containment which were applied, ”such as perimeter containment or by basic health zones (ZBS).“ In Madrid, there is less transmission. The measures have had an effect, ”he said.

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