“Things are not going well. There may be many deaths”

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The Government has for the first time admitted its deep concern over the sharp increase in coronavirus cases in recent weeks. Fernando Simón was in charge of launching the warning voice. “Do not confuse. Things are not going well. If we continue to let the transmission continue, even if they are mostly mild cases, we will end up having many hospitalized, many admitted to ucis and many deceased, “said the director of the Center for Coordination of Health Alerts and Emergencies, leaving aside his usual message of prudent optimism.

The harsh speech was especially aimed at a very specific audience: Young. Simón admitted that the messages from the administrations and the experts have not penetrated enough among this layer of the population and asked for help from the ‘influencers’ and other public figures with authority among this sector.

Risk free parties

“It is not worth telling me I am young and it will affect me very little because each young person ends up producing several cases in their family, in the elderly and in vulnerable people “, recalled the epidemiologist, and stressed that” there are ways to party, to have fun without putting yourself at risk. “

The data published this Thursday by the Ministry of Health continues in the line of the last days. The cases diagnosed in the previous 24 hours were above 3,000 for the second consecutive day, exactly 3,349. The new notifications, regardless of the day on which the diagnosis occurred, were 7,039, the third highest figure since the de-escalation. The daily average of cases for the last week continues to rise, reaching 5,083. The total number of infected since the beginning of the epidemic amounts to 377,906

Active sprouts total 1,126 throughout the territory and the number of hospitalized is 4,636. As usual, Simón pointed out that the great increase in detection capacity – 60,000 PCRs are already done daily – is behind a good part of the growth in cases. “Today we detect between 70% and 75% of those infected, when at the peak of the pandemic we did not even reach 10%,” he added. But unlike previous occasions, he specified: “That does not mean that these cases do not exist and are not growing.”

Low hospitalization

The hospitalization rate is now 4% when in the first wave 55% of the positives were entered. “If we have a thousand cases we have only 40 hospitalized but if the cases rise to 100,000, we will reach 4,000,” he exemplified to account for the danger of transmission continues to rise.

The case of the seasonal workers from Aragon and Lleida shows how sprouts can be controlled, something that has not happened with infections among young people. The average age of those infected in the last days of 35 years, when in the first wave was 62. “I have been saying for many weeks that this is not over, but it gave me the impression that it was not being forceful enough. We have I thought I had to clearly say that you have to do better, “Simon justified his change of speech.

Classroom education

In this panorama of increased infections without a short-term control horizon, concern is growing more and more among parents and teachers about the beginning of the school year. If Simón’s opinion weighs on the Government, it will maintain the idea that face-to-face education cannot be waived. The epidemiologist was very emphatic in stating that Spain “cannot allow two promotions not to have the same educational quality as others.” There are options to minimize the risks of transmission in schools and enough time to define them, according to the health spokesperson.

Along the same lines, the Secretary of Public Health of the Generalitat, Josep Maria Argimon, He defended that schools have to be “the last thing” to be closed in case of outbreaks of pandemic since, in his opinion, in this case the right to education prevails over the reduction of social interaction.

Next Thursday the joint conference of the Health and Education advisers will be held, chaired by the ministers of the respective areas and it will be there when the joint measures to be taken and the protocols on how to act in cases of contagion will be agreed.

There are some communities, such as Catalunya or Castilla La Mancha that want to start with a 100% face-to-face education while Galicia or Aragón choose to start only partially. There are also parents who advocate insubordination.

Confusion at the epicenter

The picture is especially confusing in Madrid. Its regional executive has not developed any guideline. After the strike announcement launched by the teachers’ unions, the regional president announced the presentation of her proposal next Tuesday, but internal differences are assured. The Minister of Health, of the PP, advanced yesterday that “with the current level of transmission it would not be prudent to start with classes 100% face-to-face”, but the regional vice president, Ignacio Aguado, from Cs, replied that he does not conceive a return to class that it is not in person.

Madrid has been the main focus of the epidemic for days. Simón recalled yesterday that in all indicators, both in cases, as in hospitalized and deceased, Madrilenians represent 30% of the whole of Spain.

Although great care is taken to criticize health officials in the region, the government spokesman slides time after time that most communities do well and “others not so much, they could do better.” “The transmission is under control in the whole of Spain but not some specific points, yes,” he said yesterday. It was not necessary for me to mention them specifically.

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