Spain's health minister, Salvador Illa. | Efe


Spain's health minister Salvador Illa said on Monday that he believes a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic can be avoided if the public maintains a responsible attitude and sticks to the health security measures.

Illa said that there could be what he called "surgical" confinements in the event of new outbreaks. These would entail the isolation of groups of people, buildings and exposed areas. He didn't rule out total confinement in specific situations.

As to a second wave, the minister felt that if there is one, it will be "less intense and of a lesser magnitude" than the first as the health system is better prepared. Nevertheless, he added that a "worst case" needs to be kept in mind.

"Until we have a vaccine and effective treatment, we must continue to do what we are currently doing - early detection and isolation of cases and their contacts." He observed that there is an "unprecedented" worldwide effort to discover a vaccine, which he believed will be available in a year's time.

Asked about his handling of the crisis, Illa stressed that he had never considered resigning and that no one had asked him to. All countries, he noted, had been late in responding to the crisis.