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Coronavirus | Advice from Europe’s leading expert for the weeks leading up to Christmas

There is little left for Christmas and the coronavirus pandemic has filled with uncertainty some holidays that are usually celebrated together with the family. The restrictions and measures imposed by the different countries to contain the advance of cases feed the doubts of citizens about what a Christmas party will be like 100% will be different from other years.

Experts warn during these weeks about the risk that Christmas poses for the spread of the virus. Therefore, many of them are making recommendations and advice to reduce, as far as possible, infections. One of them has been Pasi Pentinnen, Epidemiologist and Lead Expert on Coronavirus at the European Center for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC).

Pentinnen has advised the population to quarantine 10 or 14 days before Christmas to “minimize” the chances of contagion in the foreseeable social encounters that will take place during those days. “It can be a good way to protect the oldest of the family,” he said in an interview with the agency ACN.

Deaths will increase in Spain

The expert recalled that the ECDC will not publish specific recommendations for Christmas, but it will believes that you have to “limit” the number of people you interact with. “The Christmas holidays don’t look too good”, has recognized, while pointing out that the situation in much of the European Union is “very dramatic” due to the large number of positives and hospitalizations that exist at this time. Regarding Spain, Penttinen has added that in the next “two or three weeks” the deaths from COVID-19 will increase. “Spain, like many other European countries, is currently in the midst of the peak of the second wave of the pandemic,” he added.

Star virologists from Germany and Italy weigh in on Christmas

Christmas also featured the latest speeches by star virologists from Germany and Italy. Thus, in his last public appearance, the German Christian drosten, who advises the Government of Angela Merkel on coronavirus matters, shared Pentinnen’s opinion on what to do before Christmas.

Drosten has asked all citizens who intend to celebrate Christmas as a family to avoid social contact for a few days, “ideally a week”, before visiting loved ones, in what he has called “pre-quarantine”. In this way, and although without “total security”, social gatherings will have less risk, since they will have been less exposed to the pathogen.

Drosten is aware that even if there is coronavirus It will not be a lonely Christmas for people, so he has recommended doing a prior quarantine to citizens as a form of prevention against COVID-19.

For his part, one of the most recognized experts in Italy, Andrea Crisanti, has been more strict in an interview in La Reppublica. The virologist has advocated a home confinement during Christmas than those areas currently classified as “red.” “Rather than reopen for Christmas, I think the situation is so bad that I have to advise otherwise. That is, to close everything in those two weeks and try to stop the infection “, has assured.

Crisanti has warned that, otherwise, in January we will suffer the consequences in the number of positives: “The problem is not how much the system can endure, but how many deaths we are willing to accept. The closure will be inevitable because the numbers will dictate it. If not, in January we will be in this situation again, if not a worse one, in the middle of the third wave ”.