Dr Fernando Simón, Director, Centre of Coordination of Alerts & Emergencies.

Dr Fernando Simón, Director, Centre of Coordination of Alerts & Emergencies.

17-08-2020Juan Carlos Hidalgo

Despite the confirmation of 16,000 new coronavirus cases over the weekend, Spain is not in a second wave of the virus, according to Fernando Simón, Director of the Center for the Coordination of Health Alerts & Emergencies, or CCAES.

The Epidemiologist acknowledged that 16,000 new cases in three days "is not good" but insists that "this soft progressive increase is much more moderate than in other periods."

Dr Simón claims that one of the reasons for the 16,000 cases is that "the infections are occurring in Communities with higher populations, such as Madrid,” which he described as worrying, saying, "everything that refers to large cities is complicated," but he applauded “the powerful control measures and 59,000 PCR tests" being carried out every week in Madrid.

Dr Simón believes it’s "very likely" that there will be a “greater increase" in new infections around August 15, which is when most towns and villages in Spain tend to throw summer parties and said the priority now is to keep a lid on any new outbreaks.

"The goal is to reach September with the lowest level of transmission possible, because of the return to schools and work Centres after the holidays,” he said.

Dr Simón stressed that Spain “still has time to reduce transmission,” and argued that "in most of the territory the level of transmission is being progressively reduced.” He attributes the large increase in positive cases to "increases in some Autonomous Communities,” and points out that “around 60-70% of positives cases are now being detected, which is much more than in March and April, when only 10% were identified.”

"There are three types of community: those that have evolved unfavourably; those that are currently in an upward phase and those that have not been in a phase of significant growth,” he said. “The problem in September is that people from areas with different epidemiological situations will gather, so we have to try to minimise the risk before that explosive mixture.”

Dr Simón also revealed that right now around 20,000 suspected cases are being detected daily, compared to 10,000 six weeks ago and says the average age of those infected since the beginning of the pandemic is around 40.

1,420 imported coronavirus cases have been confirmed since the start of the so-called ‘new normal’ on May 11, around 300 of them arrived on 228 commercial flights and 163 were diagnosed in the last seven days.

"There are less than we might think and it’s a much smaller problem than we expected a couple of months ago,” said Dr Simón, who believes the current measures are "good enough" but called for a study into the hypothetical adoption of new restrictions in the future.”

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