Testing for the virus. File photograph. / SUR

Junta admits that the Delta variant 'wrecked' its three-phase Covid easing of measures plan

The coronavirus variant has superceded the British variant as the most dominant in the EU and in Spain has recently accounted for 88.1 per cent of new infections

ROSSEL APARICIO

What happened to the three-phase coronavirus easing of measures plan that was announced by the Junta de Andalucía in May? The Andalusian president, Juanma Moreno, detailed at the time how the plan would help transition to 'normality' after the end of the state of alarm.

It had three specific phases outlined on the initial roadmap: stabilisation (from 9 to 31 May), progress (from 1 to 21 June) and, finally, the standardisation phase – from 21 June onwards, supposedly.

However, the Delta variant wrecked the Andalusian government's plans, forcing a change of strategy.

This was admitted on Tuesday (31 August) by the Junta's spokesman, Elías Bendodo, after a meeting of the governing council. «The de-escalation in three phases was a sure success formula but the Delta variant arrived just days later and multiplied the rate of infections.»

«That strategy had to be abandoned and another direction was taken that has been working well; that of managing containment measures with the meeting of the committee of experts every 15 days,» said Bendodo.

The spokesman highlighted that the new strategy started when there was an incidence rate of 1,000 cases in the region, a situation very different from the current one: «Next week, we hope to be below 200,» he said.

The Delta variant, according to the experts, is up to 50 per cent more contagious and more harmful than the British (Alpha) variant which has been superseded as the dominant one in the European Union this summer.

In Spain, the Delta variant accounted for 88.1 per cent of new infections in the week of 20 to 26 July, according to the latest 'Update of the epidemiological situation of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOC) and interest (VOI) in public health' doument, published by the Centre for the Coordination of Health Alerts and Emergencies.