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The Junta's committee of experts to review Covid restriction measures

Closed shops in Malaga.
Closed shops in Malaga. / SALVADOR SALAS
  • The regional government's spokesman has again urged the public to comply with the rules 'for the sake of the health workers who are giving their everything in this fight'

The committee of experts that advises the Junta de Andalucía on the coronavirus pandemic meets this Wednesday (10 February) to review its strategy for monitoring the evolution of the health crisis and the effects and deadlines of the restrictions that are being adopted.

The regional government's spokesman, Elías Bendodo, announced that they will consider reducing the period in which the municipalities must comply with restrictions after exceeding contagion rates to ten days instead of the current fourteen.

Bendodo said that "after ten days an evaluation of the incidence rate of the municipalities could be made" to see if they drop below the 14-day cumulative incidence rates of 500 and 1,000 per 100,000 that determine the mobility restrictions and the closure of non-essential activity, although he specified that "to do so the rate of decline in incidence must be sustained".

In addition, the committee of experts is likely to agree to meet once a week - probably on Mondays - to evaluate the evolution of the pandemic and the results of the measures and not, as at present, twice weekly, on Mondays and Thursdays.

This change of the evaluation to Mondays would thus serve as a "reference" day since it is also coincides with the arrival of the weekly shipment of vaccines to the region and the update of data from the municipalities based on the incidence rate.

Bendodo said that these decisions will be made by experts and will be based exclusively on health criteria.

He urged the public not to relax after the "slight drop" in infections that have been registered in recent days.

Record deaths

"We are not here to make decisions that give the impression that this is over despite the fact that a change in trend is beginning to be noticed in the curve," said the Andalusian government spokesman, who reminded that the infection rate is still very high in the region with 726 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

Bendodo warned that the virus is "variable and treacherous" and 700 people have already died during the month of February, and more than 7,000 since the start of the pandemic. He highlighted the record daily death toll (126) of the health crisis this Monday.

For this reason, he repeated his calls for the public to "comply with the rules" of infection prevention "for the sake of the health workers who are giving their everything in this fight".

Along similar lines, the vice-president of the Junta, Juan Marín, also said, "The downward trend in incidence is good news, but it is not happening at the rate we would like."

Hospital pressure due to the pandemic’s third wave remains high with 4,491 people admitted and, of those, 719 are in an intensive care unit.