Salvador Illa, Spain's health minister.

30-08-2020Efe

Spain's health minister, Salvador Illa, says that if current measures to stop coronavirus contagion are adhered to, there will be no need for other measures. "Nothing makes us think that we will have to return to a situation like that in March."

In an interview with the newspaper La Vanguardia, Illa states that the situation with the pandemic is different to how it was in March and that "we must stabilise the curve and lower the contagion".

"There is an increase in the number of cases. We have to control these cases, but they do not at present threaten the health system." He attributes the increase to mobility since the state of alarm ended and to the improvement in the early detection of cases. He stresses that "we cannot afford" an increase in pressure on the health system

"If we assess the data as a whole, we see that more than half are asymptomatic, that the average age is much lower (around 40), that there are milder cases and that hospital pressure is around five per cent. Fortunately, the number of deaths is very different."

The number of cases does, nevertheless, need to be stabilised. If it is not, "early response plans" agreed with regional governments in June will be activated. These allow for various scenarios and phases.

On the return to school, Illa explains that the government has been working on the criteria "for a long time", with 2,000 million euros being invested in education in Spain's regions. He reminds parents not to allow their children to go to school if children show any symptoms.

Regarding a vaccine, he states: "If I had to make a forecast, and based on the data I have at present, I would say that in December we could start vaccinating groups who need it the most."

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