The director of the Center for Coordination of Health Alerts and Emergencies of the Ministry of Health, Fernando Simón, appeared on Wednesday to update the situation of the coronavirus in Spain after the eight confirmed cases (minutes after it ended there was a ninth in Catalonia). Simón has announced that the daily monitoring commission chaired by the Ministry has raised the risk of contagion in Spain from ‘low’ to ‘moderate’ due to the diagnoses that have occurred since Monday and the outbreak in northern Italy. But he has insisted that he is only really ‘moderate’ in the areas where he has been affected and close people.
They activate it at the national level to “reactivate our ability to react, be vigilant”, but globally in Spain, in areas where there have been no cases, it is still low or almost nil. That is, in Adeje (Tenerife), where there are already four positive ones, there is a moderate risk, but not in the whole island, nor in the entire Autonomous Community of Madrid and yes in the areas close to where the two have been affected. But by prevention and “to guarantee health care”, it is decided to establish it throughout the country.
“Conceptually,” he said, the scenario after what happened in Italy “has not changed much so far. There is more volume of cases, but the risk of transmission for the majority of the population has not changed.” This is mainly due to the fact that all the positive cases are imported from Italy, that is, they are citizens who have recently been in that country and contracted it there, there has been no indigenous transmission, so the situation is considered controlled. “The impact on the System remains low,” he repeated, “has not changed substantially.”
The coordinator has also reported that, right now, “due to the great exchange we have with Italy, what worries us is the outbreak in that country.” Since it was notified, around 100 tests have been done in Spain for being considered “suspicious” people (for presenting symptoms and for having been the last 14 days in the four regions of northern Italy affected), but only the 9 known have been confirmed. In China, outside of Wuhan, there have only been four new diagnoses between yesterday and today. “The problem associated with China is being controlled very well. Progressively, we have to change the idea, start thinking that it is not the area of greatest risk. Although the situation there will last for weeks or months,” he added.
Simon has explained other aspects related to the virus. “The use of masks is not necessary,” he said. In recent hours, the sale of these products in pharmacies has skyrocketed, when from Healthcare they indicate that they are only effective for people already sick and in healthcare settings. “It is not a disease with the severity levels of others that we have had in the past, but it is a new disease. And we do not want to add diseases, but to take away diseases. That is why the priority is to contain the coronavirus, and this has to work to global level, “he summed up about the health crisis.