Madrid ignores the recommendations of the Department of Health and refuses to implement tougher restrictions.
THE Department of Health in Spain has urged autonomous communities with growing incidence rates to implement tougher restrictions to reduce the spread of infections, something which the regional government of Madrid has steadfastly refused to do, insisting that they are “at the peak of the curve” where stricter measures would have little positive effect. Since the Easter break, the cumulative incidence rate in the country has surpassed 200 cases per 100,000 inhabitants for the first time since February, and the growing number of Covid patients occupying ICU beds in hospitals has reached a worrying level once again in several communities.
While the Health Minister, Carolina Darias, asked Madrid to implement “the red traffic light measures” that are now in place in Navarra, the regional minister declined, insisting that there are still “clear restrictions” in place that don’t include the closure of bars and restaurants again, since “the hospitality industry does not increase the number of infections,” but that these “occur at home.”
The Deputy Minister of Public Health of the Community of Madrid added that, in his opinion, “we are already at the peak of the curve and the cases in ICU will begin to fall in the coming weeks.” It is worth noting however, that Madrid currently has a cumulative incidence rate of 347.14 cases per 100,000 inhabitants and the ICU capacity is now at 41.3 per cent – the highest level in all of Spain.
The current data in the country is a lot better than it could have been if the vaccination drive hadn’t stepped up a notch in April, with the Spanish President Pedro Sanchez still confident of achieving herd immunity by the summer. The first doses of the one-shot Janssen vaccine arrived in the country yesterday, which should speed up the process considerably, but the government has decided to wait to use the new jab to inoculate those in the 70 to 79 age group until the EMA makes a decision next week. According to Spanish daily La Sexta, the European regulatory body is currently investigating six cases of blood clots discovered in people after receiving the vaccine in the United States.