September 22, 2020

Simón warns that an “innocent” party could cause a new epidemic



The director of the Center for the Coordination of Health Alerts and Emergencies, Fernando Simón, has warned that there is a possibility that an outbreak due to a small “innocent” party could cause a new epidemic that “affects us all” and has insisted that passing phase does not imply risk of zero contagion.

This is what Simón said this Wednesday at a press conference in which he recalled that some social gatherings with more people than they should have could have been the origin of the local outbreaks that have been registered in some parts of the country, such as the Lérida case.

“This is not over”, “going through the phase does not mean being free of danger” and “if we are not all in the third phase it is because we have to go slowly”, are the explanations that the expert has given to warn that seen the effect of the first epidemic, “we would not be happy if a second one occurred.”

“We are all looking forward” to meetings, Simón acknowledged, but warned that “because the conditions for passing the phase include greater detection capacity, we are observing that we continue to be at risk.”

The epidemiologist has highlighted that the current premises determine that each phase lasts 14 days, which does not mean that “time cannot be made more flexible”, although as long as the reasons are well justified.

After stressing that “smoking is not good”, Simón has stated that “it cannot be said” that doing it on the terraces of bars and restaurants is going to suppose a greater risk of contagion “neither for the smoker nor for those around him”.

The possibility of carrying out tests on tourists who come to Spain has once again been described as a “complicated question”, since their performance on arrival cannot serve as a “shield, since a negative today does not indicate that tomorrow it may be positive”.

“If you ask me for an opinion right now, I would not be very in favor of it,” he said before announcing that the control of risks that may come from abroad, both from the European Union and from other countries, will be one of the issues that European officials will debate tomorrow.

He has been more in favor of using “the famous PCRs” for this control, although he recalled that these tests take time and “something would have to be done with the hundreds of thousands of people who can enter Spain from risky countries while they await the results. “

Therefore, he said, it is a “complicated option to defend and execute” and he reiterated that there are other options that “reduce risks at a general level” based on the probability of transmission at the points of origin.

“If in the country of origin of a flight there is a much higher probability of transmission” than in our country, “we understand that controlling the arrival of people from those points can be a simpler measure,” emphasized Fernando Simón.

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