Fernando Simón, director of the Center for the Coordination of Health Alerts and Emergencies (CCAES) appeared this Thursday accompanied by the Secretary of State for Health, Silvia Calzón, to explain the evolution of the coronavirus pandemic in Spain and other issues related to the disease, including the vaccination process.
As usual, the doctor began the press conference by analyzing the data from the pandemic, which in the last day they registered 17,853 new positives and 513 deaths because of COVID-19. The cumulative incidence, for its part, it descended to 540.30 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days.
“The incidence is still very high, above the scales that we have established as very high risk. However, it is true that the evolution is favorable and we can expect the number of cases to continue to decline in the coming days “, explained Fernando Simón.
Silvia Calzón reported the data of the vaccination campaign, a process in which “2,320,507 doses have been administered, 79% percent of the doses received.” The Secretary of State for Health highlighted that “There are already more than 943,278 people who have completed their vaccination schedule by receiving the two doses”. “These figures place us 12th globally in dosing and 4th in Europe,” he added.
Calzón stressed that no adverse effects have been detected so far beyond those that were already known, such as “Headache or pain at the point of the puncture, as well as intestinal disorders”.
About the decision not to administer the vaccine AstraZeneca to those over 55 he explained that “the Public Health Commission decided to maintain a prudent attitude. The vaccine meets the safety requirements, but the trials were not representative in the older population. We prefer to maintain this expectant attitude and wait for the results of other studies. It is the position that we understood the most prudent, which is reviewable. “
Relaxation of measurements
Fernando Simón insisted on several occasions during the appearance on the need to maintain the restrictions to avoid a new increase in infections: “The de-escalation in control measures has to be highly directed by the situation of the epidemic and in Spain it continues to be very complicated. We must all be very clear that this is not over and be very careful with what we do. That is not to say that some measures cannot be modified, but guaranteeing that the others are well followed, with rigor. ”
The doctor also referred to the measures applied in the hotel industry: “We must influence measures that prevent the virus from reaching families and the closure of the hotel industry is one of them. The rate of decline in communities that have applied more severe measures inside bars is greater. All the evidence points to this activity as risky due to the way customers behave in bars. ”
The director of the CCAES referred to the recommendation of the CDC of the United States to use tighter masks. “It is true that the CDC of the United States recommends some variations in the use of masks. The masks that we use in Spain and comply with the standard are masks that have a very high quality filtering capacity. Regarding the recommendation of the FFP2, it is recommended especially for risk situations. The better adjusted the mask is, the more difficult it will be for the aerosols to come out, “he said.
The situation in summer
Fernando Simón was questioned about the possibility of a relaxation of the face measures in summer and the recommendation of the United Kingdom not to make reservations in advance, a matter on which he was very clear: “I believe that We are wrong in setting objectives by dates, it has to be by transmission level. If it is very low, you will not have to wait until Easter or summer for a relaxation of the measures. It is true that there are cultures that are planning in advance and it is normal for people to want to know. It depends on how we respect security measures. ”
He also explained that “we have some variants that pose a possibility of a higher risk of transmission. We are talking about the British. Control measures are having a similar effect for the variants. If they relax ahead of time or do not apply the individual ones well, a faster increase of the virus could occur“.
The Secretary of State for Health, Silvia Calzón, stressed at the press conference that the arrival of new vaccines, as developed by Janssen, will accelerate the rate of vaccination. “The Janssen vaccine is expected to be administered in a single dose, which will make it easier to increase vaccination. The trial has been possible to finish earlier than planned. This is good news. The incorporation of this vaccine was scheduled in the second quarter. The authorization process is likely to go ahead and in the next few days the initial phase of the study by the European Medicines Agency will begin “, explained Calzón,
Fernando Simón, director of the CCAES, was questioned about the possibility of applying a severe confinement of three weeks to considerably reduce the impact of the pandemic, as recommended by some experts.
“Right now what would not make sense is to relax the measures. Right now a severe confinement is not necessary given the evolution of the epidemic. I don’t think very harsh confinement makes sense. He could have had it a week or two ago, but not right now, “ said.
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