National and regional governments across Spain are putting measures in place to prevent a second wave of COVID infections.
From March to May, Spain suffered hugely from the Coronavirus, with high death and infection figures. However, by June, the State of Alarm was lifted and life in Spain began to return to normal.
After a high number of cases, to a sharp decline, it was easy to assume that Spain had seen the worst of the crisis. However, since the lifting of restrictions, infection rates have seen a spike in specific regions across the country, which is why controlling a second wave is at the forefront of importance.
The latest infection figures point to a rise of over 2,000 new cases over a three-day period and 120 active outbreaks across the country. In Lérida, for example, the province registered over 800 cases in 24 hours alone.
Consequently, the government is drawing up a plan on how to control these rising infections and prevent a second wave of cases rising across the country. Here are just some of the measures set to be in place;
In order to ensure infection rates remain low, the Spanish government has devolved legislative powers relating to the health crisis to regional governments. This is while also providing the communities with guidance in the event of cases rising again. There is also an order of measures and resources to help regions in this current ‘control’ stage.
Regions are being urged to encourage open communication so that implementation of measures can be quick and responsive. This includes the requirement and procurement of PPE as well as communication regarding the need for medical personnel.
Potential Reintroduction Of The State Of Alarm
Should regional measures not be enough, the central Spanish government would potentially reintroduce the state of alarm. This is, however, not a preferred route, but could be implemented if the situation worsens.
Another way that Spain is looking at ways to prevent a second wave is through a campaign to increase the number of seasonal flu vaccinations. This is part of a strategy to reduce a clash of two epidemics. The plan will be to vaccinate 75% of citizens over the age of 60 and medical staff as well as 60% of pregnant women and those in high-risk categories. Already, Spain has purchased over 5 million doses of the flu vaccination.
Health officials will hold weekly meetings to ensure that primary care facilities are fully resourced for faster outbreak detection. During these meetings, regions will be able to communicate their contingency plans such as the allocation of more hospital beds and PPE.
Furthermore, the government is stocking up on PPE. The assurance will be that there will be a base supply of 750,000 PCR kits and 50,000 daily tests across a 15-day period. Health authorities will also have sufficient stocks of the medications that are currently being prescribed for the illness.
Face Mask Usage
Already, many regions are making masks mandatory in all public spaces. It is thought that if infections begin to rise, the government may make wearing masks mandatory nationwide.
Other aspects of the plan include a ban on visiting care homes if there is one infection case in the nursing home. There is also an option to close educational facilities when infections are rising. However, what will actually come into place remains to be seen as Spain continues to monitor the situation closely.
Balearic Islands Clampdown
Party hotspots such as Magaluf on the island of Mallorca have also recently come under the spotlight after it was reported that many of the holidaymakers there are flouting the COVID regulations.
As a result, many of the bars have now been closed due to fears of a second wave on the island. Those not wearing masks in public will also be fined 100 euros.
January 14, 2021