The crisis table of the health emergency in Euskadi, a body called Labi and which is chaired by the Lehendakari, Iñigo Urkullu, has agreed this Friday at noon new restrictions in the face of the rebound of the pandemic, which has returned the incidence rate to a red alert level. The main changes will be the municipal confinements in all Basque localities - up to now there were 51, which alone had a rate of more than 500 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in 14 days -, the reduction from six to four of the maximum number of people in meetings and some adjustments in sports practice to ensure, above all, the use of a mask in closed areas. As for the hospitality industry, it will automatically close in the red alert areas, which in practice could lead to a general closure in a few days, since bars and restaurants have already lowered the blind in Bilbao and Vitoria and Donostia present rates for above 400.
The Basque Government is considering replacing the Ertzaintza with private security agents in Parliament
Finally, the Basque Country has discarded the idea of closing the hotel and retail trade at 7:00 p.m. on understanding that it was complementary to the advance to 8:00 p.m. of the curfew, a possibility vetoed by the Ministry of Health and that is not completed in the current regulation of the second alarm state. Labi sources indicate that it does not make sense to allow circulation on the street from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. in a context in which problems with bottles and crowds are increasing, as seen in Vitoria or Mungia last weekend or in the San Sebastian Day this Wednesday.
Third consecutive day with more than 1,000 positives
These decisions come in a day - the third in a row - with more than 1,000 infected, 1,139 specifically. With this upturn, the Basque Country is already on a red alert level with the incidence rate exceeding 500 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in 14 days. Of course, Álava and Gipuzkoa are still below that threshold, on orange alert. The cases of the last 24 hours are distributed in 639 in Bizkaia -the most affected territory-, 319 in Gipuzkoa and 174 in Álava, in addition to another 7 people either from abroad or without known residence.
R0 -which measures the positives that each case originates- far from stabilizing, continues to rise. Each infected person multiplies the virus and generates 1.21 infections -1.23 in the case of Álava and Bizkaia-, so the pandemic continues to expand. It has grown 41% in the last week. Furthermore, every day the percentage of symptomatic people grows at the time of sampling, more than 39%. The positivity - the cases in which the contagion of the total tests is confirmed - also remains above 8%, when the safety barrier is 5% according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Regarding the hospital situation, there are 610 total people admitted. In the last 24 hours, 77 people have been hospitalized, an average that continues to grow day by day and is close to the peak of the second wave, in November. Occupancy in the ICU is also increasing, with 109 critical cases of COVID-19, 34 more than just two weeks ago.