The director of the Center for the Coordination of Health Alerts and Emergencies (CCAES), Fernando Simon, has admitted almost a year after the first state of alarm and its consequent confinement that if it had occurred earlier «some deaths could have been prevented». A few words that come as a result of a scientific report whose conclusions suggest that had Spain closed a week earlier – avoiding March 8 -, the death toll from the first wave would have been 5,000 and not 28,000.
Simón has been asked this Monday about those figures, which suggest that Spain could have saved about 23,000 deaths if the Government had made the decision to confine before. His first reaction to the study has been a response with a certain sarcasm: “And if we had confined on January 1, too.”
Then, in a calmer tone, he admitted that “if it had been confirmed earlier, some deaths could have been avoided. Of course we would have reduced some cases. The problem is whether the confinement could have been done earlier. You have to justify why you are depriving yourself of fundamental rights.
Almost a year later
This revelation is significant as the first anniversary of 8M approaches and, a few days later, it will be exactly twelve months after the declaration of the state of alarm. The Government had received numerous warnings since January that massive events, in which many people gather in a small space, were ‘viral bombs‘for the spread of the coronavirus. On the other hand, the Government not only did not suspend those appointments, but encouraged them through social networks and media statements.
It was just in the hours after the more than 400 concentrations throughout Spain, in which 600,000 people concurred, when the Government admitted that a change of scenery was taking place. Spain entered a situation of «reinforced containment», A euphemism for pre-confinement that would last barely 5 days, in which, as revealed by OKDIARIO, Moncloa was requesting a series of advisory reports from the State Attorney’s Office on how to execute a state of alarm and confinement without having the problems of the one who experienced decreed by Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero in 2010 with the crisis of air traffic controllers.
Simón has finally admitted that the early closure would have saved deaths, as indicated in that report prepared by scientists from the Rovira i Virgili Universities of Tarragona Y from Zaragoza.
In their research on the lethal effects of the first wave of the pandemic, they have concluded that if home confinement had been applied seven days earlier, the deadly bill of the coronavirus in the first wave would have been reduced by more than 20,000 people. Simón has questioned this report, although later he said that he did not want to go in to assess it in depth since he had not read it yet.
The scientific study has been led by the physicist and professor of the Department of Computer Engineering and Mathematics of the Rovira i Virgili University (URV), Àlex Arenas,
According to Arenas, his research group sent last year «Four reports to the Minister of Health, Salvador Illa, via Miguel Hernan (epidemiologist who advised the Government in the first wave), from which President Pedro Sánchez decided the total confinement “. A decision, which as he has pointed out, came “at least two weeks late”.
According to the expert, his group of researchers also contacted the president of the Generalitat at that time, Quim Torra, and with the councilors of the Presidency, Meritxell Budó, and Interior, Miquel Buch, who “from minute one understood it and asked for confinement a day after knowing” the data.
«Minister Illa and Fernando Simon, with information even more precise that they required us, it took two more weeks», Has affirmed. «Taking into account that the dead in the first wave amounted to 28,000, we would have saved 23,000», Has indicated the researcher. “If we had brought the closure forward seven days, the number of deaths wouldIt would have been approximately 5.000 and if we had done it seven days later, it would have been 120,000 ».