Feijóo’s explanation of the worsening of the coronavirus epidemic in Galicia after Christmas has found a culprit: citizens. He clarified this on Monday, when he stated that “now the consequences of the interactions of the parties are being paid. There is no doubt.” He did not provide much data, and there was no hint of self-criticism in his speech. Yes of criticism, but to the central government, which he accused of “forcing to authorize meetings of 10 relatives.” The truth is that the autonomies themselves counted, from the Interterritorial Health Council of December 16, with room to reduce them.
Julio García Comesaña: “We assume our responsibility for not having been stricter in the Christmas measures”
Unlike his conselleiro de Sanidade, who admitted in an interview in elDiario.es “responsibility for not having been more strict”, the president of the Xunta bent to an exculpatory account. His government, he said, had tried to convince Galicians not to get together on Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve or Three Kings beyond their family nucleus or two coexistence units “at most.” “We did not succeed,” he declared, according to Europa Press, before adding: “Citizens knew very well what the rules were and if everyone had complied, today there would be fewer infections.”
Feijóo’s version of what happened put numbers on the table, although without too much context or sources. According to him, 90% of the population complied with the rules, but the “10%” that did not have caused the virus to escalate. The balance of the Government Delegation of the actions in this regard by the National Police and the Civil Guard contradicts it. Between December 21, 2020 and January 6, 2021, 8,680 “security devices” were carried out, affecting 69,436 people and from which 2,358 sanction proposals were derived, 3% of the total.
Still three days ago Galicia registered the highest number of new infections in a single day since the beginning of the epidemic: 914, to add 8,250 active cases. This Monday, pressure on hospitals intensified. Ten more people went to intensive care units, where there are already 71, and 37 were hospitalized in the plant, where there are 397. These are figures that have not been seen since the end of November and that have resulted, for now, in the tightening of restrictions to the hotel business in Santiago, A Coruña and Ourense. In the community a total of 1,450 people have died from the disease.
But this retrospective rigor of Feijóo has not always accompanied his considerations on what to do with Christmas in times of pandemic. When Congress approved the state of alarm still in force, the president of the Xunta he pronounced on it stridently. “It cannot be more devastating, the same can be done without these heartbreaking terms and projections, we have put Christmas and Easter in question, giving a huge stick to the tourism and hospitality sector,” he said then.
Once, in November, the central government began to negotiate with the regional leaders a general framework of measures for the holidays, its position changed. Sometimes even to defend one thing and its opposite, as in the case of the attendants allowed to Christmas celebrations. If this Monday he blamed the Ministry of Health for having “forced to authorize” up to ten diners, while hiding the pact of December 16 by which the communities could reduce them, in his day he also defended that the children did not count in the calculation. He also considered those ten people “high risk”, but only 12 hours later that his cabinet voted in favor of the measure at the Interterritorial Council on December 2.
Finally, the Xunta established that a maximum of six adults and four children under the age of ten belonging to two “family units” could meet and that there could be a third adult person if he / she lived alone. At once, lifted the so-called perimeter closures in 60 municipalities to enable mobility on the most important days: Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve and Three Kings. “It is evident that the citizens wanted to have social contact,” he said Monday. And on that desire, he unloaded the main burden of responsibility regarding the rise of the coronavirus in Galicia.