Madrid continues to experience difficult days due to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, while regional and national authorities continue to debate the most appropriate measures to stop the spread of the virus. Harvard University epidemiologist Miguel Hernán assures that a new confinement “is necessary”, although it will be “shorter” than March and April.

“A new confinement is necessary to maintain some minimum standards in hospitals“, he affirms on his Twitter account, where he has also denounced that the figures for the occupancy of beds in the Intensive Care Units offered by the authorities” are not reliable. “

In this line, he emphasizes that, “despite the immense effort of health personnel to readapt the hospitals”, Intensive Care Units are “saturated” again. “We are once again facing a serious health emergency. The ICUs were our last line of defense. Without adequate diagnostic capacity or trackers or isolation and quarantine supervision, we only had to trust in not saturating the hospitals,” he laments.

However, he points out that the duration of this new confinement in Madrid will be shorter than the previous one. “Madrid has as many hospitalized for COVID-19 today as at the beginning of the state of alarm, but the curve is flatter so will be shorter“, he emphasizes.

Furthermore, he notes, “confinement does not have to be strict”. In this way, he explains, it would include teleworking, closing universities, Secondary classes and closed public places (bars, gyms …), a mask indoors and outdoors less than two meters away … but it would allow to keep parks open, take a walk without congregating and practicing outdoor sports.

Hernán highlights that, if the data are analyzed well, the occupation of ICU beds in Madrid by COVID patients is 95% (112% in public hospitals), and not the 36% that the official figures show.

Is discrepancy This is because official figures “count as ICU any bed where a respirator can be installed: operating rooms, post-surgical resuscitation rooms, coronary unit …” “And they don’t count that 70-75% of real ICUs are usually occupied in non-pandemic periods,” he says.