After the spring confinement, in which the expansion of Covid-19 was successfully controlled, it was insisted that the reinforcement of Primary Care, the tracking and early detection of cases and the maintenance of the norms of social distancing would be key to prevent the pandemic from rebounding.
However, some of those elements, or perhaps all of them, failed. Now regional administrations and the central state have been forced to re-impose restrictions to varying degrees with the stated aim of avoiding at all costs a new lockdown across the country.
These are the measures that epidemiologists and experts in preventive medicine recommend to implement before having to reach a new total closure of the country.
Tracking and early detection
Probably the most repeated measurement since the end of lockdown It is still the pending issue of some autonomous communities, which have not been able to hire enough trackers to keep contagions at bay when they were still rare.
“It is essential that from Public health the necessary resources for the tasks of tracking and follow-up of positive cases and their contacts be continued and improved “, states the doctor Patricia Guillem, epidemiologist at the European University of Valencia.
More tests and faster
Closely linked with this reinforcement of Public Health is the objective that the tests are carried out in the greatest possible number of all the people who may have been infected and that their results are notified in the shortest possible time to be able, in this way, brake drive chain.
“Primary Care physicians are working on the one hand, Public Health on the other and hospitals on the other, why don’t we put everything together in the same application and make it our goal that, in 24 hours, everyone knows the result of his PCR and that no contact takes more than 48 hours to detect it and do the PCR? “, the doctor asks Rafael Ortí, President of the Spanish Society of Preventive Medicine, Public Health and Hygiene (Sempsph). “At this time that the issue is already overwhelmed, it is very difficult to get to everything, but structural measures must be taken and not patches, such as requesting the support of the military.”
Reinforce compliance with the “3 M” rule
Another challenge for the authorities is to ensure compliance by the population with preventive measures, particularly the three most repeated since the beginning of the pandemic: maintaining social distance, hand hygiene and use of masks. .
In this sense, norms have been approved regarding these economic measures and sanctions linked to non-compliance, such as the mandatory use of masks at all times or the prohibition of smoking if it is not possible to maintain a safe distance from the rest of the people who may be around.
Epidemiologists stress that the disease is transmitted by “inappropriate practices” that we have incorporated into our day to day. Some have been modified more successfully – perhaps the most representative are the changes in the forms of greeting – but others are maintained, in many cases, due to ignorance.
“In what we have failed has been in health education, much more could have been done, with simple and clear messages,” says Dr. Ortí. “For the population to avoid these practices, it is essential that they know the problem, that they know the transmission mechanisms, how the virus behaves and how it can prevent contagion.”
With the appearance of the first outbreaks after confinement, mobility restrictions were implemented in certain areas, aimed at containing contagions and preventing their spread throughout the rest of the country. These measures, which were generally successful, are now being implemented in some of the neighborhoods most affected by violence. Covid-19 of Madrid.
“This measure, to reduce the mobility of the population, has some exceptions (travel for work, attendance at schools, urgent reasons …) so that, although it may help control, it will only contribute to the decrease” , declares Dr. Guillem.
Perimeter confinement of Madrid
Given the situation in the Madrid’s community, a sector of the scientific world demands that a perimeter confinement of the region be carried out, with internal movements reduced to the maximum and without the possibility of entering or leaving.
“In spite of it, it would be necessary to do a perimeter confinement of the Community of Madrid like the one that was done in Lleida”, states Dr. Joan Caylà, member of the Spanish Society of Epidemiology. “This can affect the economy, but if we don’t do it right this will lead to a much worse disaster.”