March 3, 2021

Carnival raises doubts among experts


Groups of people along the Paseo de Las Canteras, Gran Canaria.  |

Groups of people along the Paseo de Las Canteras, Gran Canaria. |
JC Castro

Gran Canaria, the island with the highest number of active cases of SARS-CoV-2, has managed to improve its epidemiological data after entering the level 3 alert for covid on January 18, a degree in which will remain at least until next Thursday, when modifying the restrictions in the entire Archipelago will be studied during the meeting of the Governing Council. The truth is that the president of the regional executive, Ángel Víctor Torres, expressed yesterday his confidence that an “update” of the containment measures in the autonomous community could take place, taking into account the good evolution of the figures. But, would it be convenient to make this decision before the Carnival bridge is celebrated in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria? In the opinion of some experts, no.

“The evolution is favorable, but, in my opinion, we would have to wait for the Carnival days to pass. Although the festivities are suspended, there is a very strong tradition in the Islands and irresponsible and worrying behavior may occur that will take their toll ”, warns Professor Antonio Sierra, a member of the Scientific Committee that advises the Canarian Government in the management of this health crisis.

An opinion seconded by the section chief of the Epidemiology and Prevention Service of the General Directorate of Public Health, Amós García Rojas, who considers that the experience with Christmas should serve not to lower our guard. “You have to be very cautious because we are in a third wave that is hitting very hard. The holidays, in general, go hand in hand with a relaxation of security measures and every precaution that is taken is little, ”says the doctor.

“We are in a third wave that is hitting very hard,” says the epidemiologist

On the contrary, Professor Luis Serra Majem, spokesman for the aforementioned Committee, believes that if the downward trend in both Gran Canaria and Lanzarote is confirmed next Thursday, “it would not be worrying” to lower the alert levels on these islands. “Levels 2 and 3 are very restrictive and shouldn’t be a problem. I am more concerned about the passage of Tenerife to level 1 because of what it could represent for the celebration of a Carnival party, as it is a phase in which the hand opens a little more ”, adds the expert.

Also, as detailed, the evolution of the contagion curve in the Canary Islands is favorable and it is already possible to speak of a “control” of the third wave. “It is much easier to increase the incidence of the virus than to reduce it, so it has taken us a lot to get to where we are. However, the decisions that will be taken this Thursday will be based on the analysis of indicators, which are the ones that will determine whether it is possible for a change to occur at a more favorable level on any island ”, emphasizes Serra Majem.

For this reason, these days will be decisive in establishing determinations. “People have to understand that it is about saving lives and not Carnivals or Holy Week. Therefore, it is essential to respect the measures and not celebrate parties until most of the population has received the vaccine against Covid-19 ”, the professor says.

the Cadena Cope that the department he directs has received “dozens of requests” to celebrate Carnival parties

Requests to celebrate parties

The Regional Government Health Minister, Blas Trujillo, said yesterday on Cadena Cope that the department he directs has received “dozens of requests” to celebrate Carnival parties. All this in a context in which the repercussions of the celebration of the Christmas holidays are still being observed. “It is evident that the Government is the one that makes the decisions, but the fact of changing to a more favorable level to Gran Canaria or Tenerife with the Carnivals so close, worries me a lot. There are many people who can organize private parties and the police would have difficulty detecting them, so I think it is better to be prudent and wait for these days to pass, “says the professor of Microbiology, Preventive Medicine and Public Health at the ULL. Antonio Sierra. | YM

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