THE World Health Organisation admitted that it does not know why Spain has Europe’s highest incidence of Covid-19.
Maria Neira, director of the WHO’s Public Health and Environment department, commented during the online forum, Nueva Economia, that Spain currently has stricter measures regarding facemasks than other countries in a better Covid-19 situation.
Spanish-born Neira also drew attention to the habits of Spanish society, maintaining that neither inter-family transmission nor the habits of the young explained the spiralling number of cases.
“It’s true that there is a link between the young and partying,” she was quoted as saying in El Pais. “But that doesn’t justify the country’s present situation as young people also go to parties in Italy, in France and even Switzerland,” the WHO representative pointed out, as she stressed the importance of raising awareness in the Spanish population and especially amongst the young.
Neira also emphasised the need to analyse circumstances in the country’s Primary Care centres and the way that screening is carried out there, so that flaws could be detected and corrected.
It was also necessary to review detection plans and tracing procedures as well as ensuring that isolation and quarantining were checked up on.
“If more tracers are needed then there will have to be more tracers and if something needs correcting, then that must be done,” Neira declared.
The WHO’s European office was in “very regular” contact with Spain’s minister of Heath, Salvador Illa, she said, as well as Fernando Simon, director general of the Coordination Centre for Health Alerts and Emergencies.
Neira refused to be drawn on recent disagreements between the central government and Madrid’s regional government headed by Isabel Garcia Ayuso on controlling the pandemic.
The international media have all headlined the clashes, she pointed out.
“That’s something one doesn’t want to read every day. I would rather see Spain as an example of good management.”