Coronavirus | “The data in Madrid are not as spectacular as they are raised”

The evolution of the coronavirus pandemic in the Community of Madrid is good. At least that’s what the data says. The number of daily infections has decreased, the cumulative incidence (AI) of the entire region is below 500 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, some neighborhoods had the AI ​​above 1,000 and now have it below 300 and hospital pressure is on the decline.

For better or for worse, Madrid has been the focus of attention in recent weeks. Many experts and even the central government called for stronger measures from the Regional executive, who at all times defended his model of applying restrictions at specific points, in the most affected basic health areas. Likewise, from Puerta del Sol, it was decidedly committed to the use of antigen tests as a routine screening method, a test that offers results in about 15 minutes.

The figures indicate that the Community of Madrid has improved, which has even led the German press to recognize and praise the decisions of the president of Isabel Díaz Ayuso. But nevertheless, there are those who doubt the apparent good data of the autonomous community. It is the case of Daniel López Acuña, expert in Public Health and former director of Health Action in crisis situations of the World Health Organization (WHO).

The epidemiologist, who currently advises the Government of Asturias on the management of the pandemic, has acknowledged in an interview on RTVE that “It is probable that in Madrid, thanks mainly to the behavior of the population, we may have some elements of decline”, but he has asked for caution with the apparent good evolution: “Not even things are as spectacular as they are nor are they attributable to antigen testing, which does not control the disease, it helps to diagnose more quickly, but at the same time it is a less sensitive instrument in the case of asymptomatic people ”.

“Madrid changed the protocol”

For this reason, he has been “very skeptical” about the figures offered by the Community of Madrid. According to López Acuña, the Community of Madrid “changed the protocol to carry out diagnostic tests, PCR or antigens, to the people who are contacts of the cases.” “In a nutshell: part of reality has been overlooked and the incidence has been undervalued and underreported. From my point of view, the incidence is notably higher in reality, on the street ”, he added.

Why has the hospitalization data improved?

In this sense, during the interview it was pointed out that the hospitalization data has also improved, aspect for which the expert also has an explanation: “We have a phenomenon in the Community of Madrid: referral to private institutions of cases that go to public hospitals and that are not registered in the hospital pressure ”.