A decisive week begins in which Spain must decide whether to enter a new home confinement similar to last March, even if only in certain territories. Asturias and Melilla have paved the way that several autonomous communities are likely to follow. The president of the Principality, the socialist Adrián Barbón, has asked the Government to allow him to implement it in its territory in the next 15 days.
The response of the Minister of Health, Salvador Illa, has been negative. He rules out authorizing it in the coming days, although he has summoned him for a videoconference this Tuesday. The Executive still trusts that with the measures included in the new alarm state the evolution of this second wave of the pandemic can be controlled. Otherwise, you should write a new decree of state of alarm or reform the current one, which would force him to validate it again in Congress and request another extension if he wanted it to last more than 15 days, reports Juanma Romero.
The data released this Monday by Health are not reassuring. The weekend has registered 55,019 new cases, a new record for the entire pandemic despite the fact that Catalonia has not been able to upload all its data. The new deaths, 379, have marked another second wave high, while incidence has taken another leap, with 521 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, 36 more than last Friday and almost double than a month ago.
The position of Asturias is relevant because during the summer it became a Covid-19-free paradise. It had the lowest incidence of cases in Spain and the second wave has come later than any other autonomy. Is still in a contagion rate below the average, 416 cases.
As he did in the summer, Barbón wants to get ahead because he believes that he is already “in a critical situation.” “What worries us most is a growth in hospitalizations that we did not see even in the first wave. If we continue at this rate, the pandemic would lead us to an extreme hospital situation “, has sentenced.
The Asturian president has not stayed there and has also decreed the closure of all non-essential business activities, of the hospitality and the advance of the curfew from 24 to 22 hours.
Get ahead of the virus
Barbón’s demand coincides with the opinion of more and more experts. In the second wave, the virus has always been ahead and the delay of a confinement that seems increasingly inevitable would only mean that it would have to be longer, most believe.
Asturias’ request joins the Melilla, made last Friday. The autonomous city is in the worst situation in the entire Spanish territory with an incidence of 1,356 cases and the ucis so full that it has been forced to transfer patients to Andalusia.
The Minister of Health of Castilla y León, Verónica Casado, has described the home confinement as “inevitable”. “There will be limit non-essential activities and to be at home even if work, education and other aspects that we did not have in March are allowed “, he pointed out. Extremadura and the Basque Country have also recognized that the measure is on the table. Catalonia, which had considered it, will wait a few days more after seeing how the current restrictions begin to bear fruit.
The autonomies and the Government have an important appointment this Wednesday in the Interterritorial Council where Asturias, Melilla and the rest of the autonomies that join will put their demand on the table.
Health argues that the measures they have already adopted require time to assess their impact and there is, therefore, “a time margin for their effectiveness to have results in the evolution of the pandemic.” The alarm status also allows implement other measures to contain the virus before reaching home confinement, Add the ministry in a statement.
Illa has also given an example the decrease in cases derived from the measures taken in Madrid with the specific state of alarm that the Government decreed. It is true that in a month hospitalized patients have dropped by 24%, but it is also true that the proportion of those admitted to ucis continues without falling. They are still around 40% and the system could be overwhelmed if there is any rebound, even if it is not of great dimension.
United Kingdom, Ireland and Israel has agreed to confinement with better data than Spain. France has done it when it was already in a worse situation, but the trend throughout Europe points in the same line.