Spain is unlikely to have to endure another national COVID-19 lockdown according to an expert from the World Health Organisation.
María Neira, Director of the WHO’s Public Health and Environment claimed that another full lockdown would not be required and that localised lockdowns would be sufficient to contain a potential second wave.
In an interview with Efe, Neira said that a full lockdown and controlling the movements of the whole country would only be justified if Spain experienced a ‘very alarming’ epidemiological scenario.
She said, "There are many places in the country where the situation has been controlled.
"For this reason, at present, a new massive confinement is not necessary."
She also said that the country was not entering a second Coronavirus wave and that Spain “had never left the first phase”.
Neira added that another national lockdown should be avoided due to the impact it will have on the economy, people's mental health and the strain it places on the national health service.
Spain has ramped up its testing programme since the lifting of the lockdown and according to Neira, is one of the main reasons the country has seen the highest number of reported cases in Europe.
She said, "Spain has increased its testing a lot and that gives part of the answer, because the more tests there are, the better information we have about the real situation. It allows us to react as quickly as possible."
Although she is not against local lockdowns, Neira insisted that they could be applied much like a surgical procedure to remove the outbreaks locally, rather than performing a full amputation.
The WHO has said that to avoid any further extreme lockdown measures, countries were advised to implement mass testing, contact tracing programmes and quarantine where required.
Spain was recently added to the UK’s list of ‘unsafe’ countries after a spike in COVID cases, much to the dismay of the Spanish government and the countries travel and tourism sectors.
Spain is currently one of Europe’s worst-hit countries with over 310,000 registered cases and over 28,500 deaths.
On Friday the Spanish Ministry of Health published official figures showing that there had been 1,895 new cases. This is in comparison to 1,683 registered on Thursday.
The majority of new cases have been concentrated in the regions of Catalonia, Aragon, Andalusia and the capital, Madrid.
The Basque Country saw the biggest increase with 428 new cases.
Source: Olive Press
Image Credit: US Mission Geneva, Flickr