The WHO has advised Spain not to act ‘prematurely’ by downgrading the health crisis to endemic
Salvador Tranche, president of the Spanish Society of Family and Community Medicine (SemFYC), is in favour of change, arguing that the less pathogenic Omicron variant and excellent vaccination rates in Spain mean the time is ripe to move “from a crisis management model to one of control.” The expert believes that health services should be focused on treating patients with serious conditions while those with mild or no symptoms manage their illness at home, as is done each year with the flu.
The Society is in favour of abandoning quarantines and mask-wearing and wants to abolish the practice of testing healthy people with minor symptoms, something which it insists serves only to clog up the already overburdened Primary Care sector.
“All these activities, which made sense in the past, have been overcome with acquired immunity, both by infection and by vaccination, and the arrival of Omicron,” Mr Tranche concluded.
Covid and influenza, both diseases caused by respiratory viruses, have some common characteristics, but Víctor Jiménez Cid, professor of Microbiology at the Complutense University of Madrid has warned that it is dangerous to “put them in the same bag” for a number of reasons.
Firstly, Omicron has proven to be far more contagious than flu, and while influenza is mainly a winter virus, at the moment Covid is infecting people year-round. In addition, while the flu rarely results in secondary pneumonia, coronavirus is known to cause lung infections, even in younger and vaccinated individuals.
For this reason, the professor considers it “a bit premature” to apply a surveillance network to Covid similar to the flu sentinel system. Many of the experts agree that there will certainly come a time when we have to normalise our relationship with the virus, but that the time to do this is not at the height of a pandemic wave.
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Source: Murcia Today