SPAIN could be the first European country to downgrade Covid-19 to “flu-like” status – just two years after hitting 1,000 daily deaths from the virus.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez pushed his EU counterparts on Monday to debate the possibility of treating Covid like the flu.
The European leader told a local radio station that the situation in Spain “is not like what we faced a year ago” and that it was time to “assess the progress of COVID into the future”. an endemic disease”.
The move will see lockdowns and daily infection counts dropped in favor of a system that tracks Covid cases just like the common flu.
That’s because a string of positive studies shows that Omicron is milder than other strains, with data showing a 50 to 70 percent lower risk of hospitalization than Delta.
Health officials have repeatedly said the Covid booster shots protect against Omicron and offer the best chance of weathering the pandemic.
The Sun’s Jabs Army campaign is helping to get additional vital vaccines in the UK’s arms to stem the need for any new restrictions and protect the NHS.
The measure comes in response to stiff resistance from Germany and France, where vaccination rates remain low and French President Emmanuel Macron has promised to make participation in public life the hardest. possibly in unvaccinated people.
Sánchez cites Spain’s “exemplary” use of vaccines which has seen more than 90% of the population over 11 years of age fully immunized and 85% of those over 60 years of age given a booster shot. case for radical change.
Spain has also seen its death rate drop to 1%, down from 13% at the height of the first wave of Covid-19 when it experienced 1,000 deaths a day.
In the UK, only 83 per cent of the population aged 12 and over are fully immunized while only 63 per cent have received a booster shot, according to the latest government figures.
Although daily Covid cases have dropped 45% in a week, the number of deaths continues to rise – with around 379 deaths reported today compared with 49 last Tuesday.
Spain’s prime minister said it’s time to respond to Covid with “new tools” including Pfizer’s Paxlovid antiviral pill, but vaccine and mask mandates are expected to be kept on hold original, according to Luck.
Spain’s Health Ministry has developed a Covid surveillance system called “guardians”, reflecting a system being used to monitor flu outbreaks in the country.
It uses sample data from doctors to predict and respond to outbreaks rather than trying to count every case with a test and trace system, according to the publication.
“Now, give [Omicron’s] Since the potential to spread is so great, it is a big challenge to strictly adhere to universal surveillance protocols. It became impossible,” said Amparo Larrauri, a senior Spanish scientist El Pais.
The push comes as Spain finds itself in the crosshairs of a sixth Covid wave.
The country took a lax approach and cut the quarantine period from 10 to seven days and decided to isolate students from classes with five or more cases.
Not all epidemiologists agree with Sánchez’s push for the downgraded country’s Covid response.
Daniel López-Acuña, former director of WHO, told a Spanish news network: “It is not appropriate to trivialize the sixth wave and think that we are in an endemic phase.
“This kind of discourse does not follow a rigorous epidemiological analysis. It will be in months, not now.”
Professor Fernando Rodríguez Artalejo, an epidemiologist at the Autonomous University of Madrid, said Spain was already using the system to replenish the number of cases.
He said while the idea of using sentinel was “sensible”, it was “not clear” when it should be fully implemented.
https://www.thesun.ie/news/8190219/spain-debates-giving-covid-flu-status/ Spain first European country to propose DOWNGRADING Covid to ‘like flu’ just two years after 1,000 daily deaths