Fernando Simón, Director of the Centre for the Coordination of Health Alerts & Emergencies, or CCAES says that if people don’t social distance and wear masks in the coming weeks, there could be another wave of Covid-19 this summer.
"If we relax more than we should, there could be a relatively rapid resurgence of progression," he warned after the Coronavirus Technical Management Committee meeting.
Dr Simón says the Ministry of Health is working with the hypothesis of a possible second wave of the epidemic in the Autumn, but pointed out that it could happen even sooner if the coronavirus measures are relaxed, particularly because a massive amount of foreign tourists will soon be arriving in Spain.
“So far, the evolution is still very good despite the restrictions being lifted, but we can’t rule out excessive relaxation, so it’s now in everyone's hands to make sure that doesn’t happen this summer,” he said. “At the moment all the small outbreaks that have occurred are being detected very early by the Health Authorities and if this were not the case, within a few weeks there would be a risk of transmission in the summer."
The Ministry of Health is also debating bringing the flu vaccination campaign forward this year to reduce the possibility of flu cases being confused with coronavirus infections.
Dr Simón says it’s an interesting idea, but points out that some studies suggest that advancing or delaying vaccine production can reduce the effectiveness of the campaign.
Other factors also need to be taken into account if vaccination is brought forward, such as making sure pharmaceutical companies have enough doses to vaccinate people in all countries and whether there should be any change in recommending which groups need to be vaccinated.
"In principle, vaccination is recommended for people over 65 and specific vulnerable groups, but in a generic way to the entire population."