COVID-19 : Simón explains in detail what will happen in Spain in “a few weeks”

Fernando Simon, director of the Center for the Coordination of Health Alerts and Emergencies (CCAES), and Silvia Calzón, Secretary of State for Health, have appeared to analyze the evolution of the pandemic in Spain. This Thursday, the Ministry has reported 14,515 infections and 388 deaths in the last 24 hours. Regarding the accumulated incidence, it continues to decrease and stands at 320.81 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days.

Simon began by pointing out that “We have been on a downward trend for several weeks, with variability between cities but all with the same downward trend. In any case, they are very high incidents. We have to be careful because we are in the midst of the prevalence of the different variants. The forecast is that the curve will continue to decline in the coming days. “

Inoculation rate and new vaccines

Subsequently Calzón took the floor to update the vaccination situation: “They have delivered 3,622,165 doses, of which 2,782,751 have been administered. 5.87% of the Spanish population has administered at least one of the doses. In addition, 1,144,556 people have already been immunized. We are the 4th country with the most vaccinated people in the European Union. Today 396,000 new doses of AstraZeneca have arrived and will begin to be distributed to the communities tomorrow. Between In February and March, the companies forecast is that they will administer 9.7 million doses to us. “

Regarding the Janssen vaccine, The Secretary of State explained that the pharmaceutical company “requested authorization for emergency use from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) on Tuesday. The process will end in the first half of March. There are two other vaccines, Novavax and Curevac, in the last phase of evaluation. Both are likely to be authorized in the second half of the year. “

Relaxation of measures

The director of the CCAES was optimistic about the possibility of gradually relaxing the restrictions: “The situation is alert, as the data is still very high for how they should be. There are 7 communities below 250, so there is variability between the autonomies. The relaxation of measures does not mean that all have to be lowered. The more measures are lowered, the ones that remain should be applied better. It is possible that in a few weeks we will be in a good situation. Every day that passes is a day that we beat the epidemic. There is little left to overcome the pandemic, so we cannot make what remains hell. “

For Simon, there is a connection between closing the bars and improving the situation: “There is a clear evidence on the impact of social gatherings on infections. In our country there is an important correlation between the moments when the hotel industry closes with the decrease in infections “.

British variant

The Minister of Health, Carolina Darias, said this morning that the British strain represents around 20% of cases in Spain, something to which Simón referred: “There are communities where the prevalence of the British variant is around 50%, while in others it does not exceed 4%. Not all communities have the same sequencing capacity, but we would be around 20% -25% of cases in the country. “

Quarantine for travelers

The epidemiologist reported on the key factors to decide that travelers from South Africa and Brazil have to remain in quarantine upon entering our country: “We have three variants that, apparently, are of greater risk. B.117 already circulates widely throughout the country. Quarantining people who may come with this variant makes less sense. Thus, with fewer cases of the South African and Brazilian variant, a mandatory quarantine has been imposed. “

Precisely, Simon pointed out the dangers of the South African strain: “There are already several studies that indicate that some vaccines are not effective against this strain. Pfizer’s vaccine would be generating a similar level of antibodies. Fortunately in Spain cases do not take up space. The little information from countries where this variant is already widely circulated is that the British does not give space to the South African “.