November 30, 2020

Mitjà’s proposal to the Govern



The report that the epidemiologist Oriol Mitjà has transferred this morning to the Govern with the guidelines and strategies to follow for an effective lack of confinement in Catalonia opens the door to the creation of a digital immunity certificate and focuses on mass tests to identify positive cases .

These are some of the keys to the document, beyond the controversy over the immunity certificate:

1) RELAX THE MEASURES IN FIVE TIMES

The relaxation of the confinement measures proposed by this expert will be done in five different phases, provided that a series of epidemiological criteria are met and the health system has sufficient capacity.

Regarding epidemiological criteria, these should serve to demonstrate that the spread of the coronavirus has decreased and has stabilized significantly: they must reflect a “sustained” decrease in confirmed and symptomatic cases for at least twelve days.

And in toilets, the document states that the occupation of the ucis of patients with coronavirus should be below 20% and that hospitals must maintain the ability to provide their usual care “even in a context of increasing cases.”

If these criteria are met, a gradual lifting of the measures can be carried out in five phases: first, the return of healthy people to their non-essential jobs; second, the exit to the street of healthy people, “with special attention to minors and the elderly.”

Then there would be the opening of bars and restaurants and the holding of events with a capacity of less than 30 people, the opening of educational centers and schools, and lastly businesses with a capacity of more than 30 people and cultural and sporting events with the public .

2) MASS TEST: PCR AND SEROLOGICAL

Mitjà’s document foresees a first serological study of 30,000 people, with representation “from all territories and age groups”, to find out the percentage of people who are HIV positive for the coronavirus.

From there, the document recommends massive tests: up to 1.5 million PCR tests (the most sensitive) during 16 weeks to know the positives and another 6 million serological tests to find out how many people have developed immunity to the virus.

3) SPECIFIC PLANS FOR SENIORS AND MINORS

This is the second of the phases planned to relax the measures. The document focuses on outings for minors and people over 65 to “avoid social exhaustion” and segregate these outings by time slots so that groups do not come into contact.

As previously planned, the experts’ text recommends sealing the children’s leisure and outdoor sports spaces to avoid congregations and the transmission of the virus.

4) AN EYE PUT ON POSSIBLE REBROUTS

The text does not advance dates, but hints that the intervention measures could be extended “in a prolonged or intermittent way” between 12 and 18 months to avoid the collapse of the hospitals and to face the “recurrent” outbreaks of the coronavirus.

To combat them, it opens the door to apply “focused or global” confinement measures depending on the territory, transitory or permanent over time and partial or total in terms of the intensity of the restrictions.

5) BLUETOOTH CONTACT TRACKING

Mitjà proposes that the contacts of people with symptoms be tracked through the bluetooth technology of mobile phones. The drawback, as the report points out, involves the treatment of these data and the user’s privacy, an issue on which they recommend moving forward “with caution and sensitivity.”

Users must give their consent and the tracking, which would be done through the “STOP COVID 19” app, must incorporate “verifiable technical measures” to guarantee the privacy of users.

6) TEMPERATURE CONTROLS IN PUBLIC TRANSPORT

The report points out public transport as “a very important route of transmission of SARS-COV-2 infection” and, to avoid crowds, proposes maintaining a physical distance of one and a half meters on platforms and vehicles and recommends carrying out temperature controls in the main transport nodes.

Regarding transport, the controversial immunity certificate reappears: the letter asks to “assess” its use as a criterion for access to trains and buses if it ends up being started.

Santiago José Sánchez

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