File phtotograph. / SUR

Junta de Andalucía expects 'many more' coronavirus cases after Christmas period

Juan Marín, the vice-president and minister of tourism, said the situation is better than in many other regions and added ‘we must learn to live with Covid’ and urged 'people to accept the recommendations of scientists'

EUROPA PRESS

The vice-president of the Junta de Andalucía, Juan Marín, has defended not ordering a mass cancellation of the Three Kings parades in the region, although the regional government has made recommendations, in view of the increase in new coronavirus infections sweeping the country.

"Everything should be done with caution," said Marin, who said that we must "learn to live with Covid, which is not going to leave tomorrow whether we all get vaccinated or because we renew the contracts of some of the health professionals that were hired at the start of the pandemic.”

In an interview with Cadena Ser Andalucía, Marín spoke about the attitude needed to face the coronavirus pandemic and said that "alarmism does not lead us anywhere, only to confuse public opinion", believing that "we must live with the Covid until science ends the virus", which is why he urged that "in the meantime we must try and do things normally."

Lockdowns

Marín said he hoped that the carnivals and fairs next spring can be celebrated, even though he acknowledged that "we do not know what will happen after the Christmas period", noting that "there are countries in central Europe with 15 days of lockdowns." "Andalusians are very responsible, with some 93% vaccinated, so we can live with a certain normality," he said referring to the holidays and then suggested, "Maybe, we will have to limit certain types of activities, and then get used to [the situation] until this is all over."

Christmas infections

Regarding the rapid evolution of the sixth wave of the pandemic, marked by the Omicron variant, Marín acknowledged that "the situation is already becoming quite worrying" due to the fact that "the new variant is spreading fast", and he urged the public to be "very cautious and continue to heed what the health authorities recommend to us". He said it was "very likely, at the rate we are going, that many more people will be infected with the virus after Christmas."

The vice president of the Junta maintained that the parameters used to manage the crisis "will be the same that we have always used in previous waves", after clarifying that "we are at Level 1, but soon we will probably be at Level 2 in some health districts", although he pointed out "the situation in Andalucía is better than in many others regions, and the cumulative incidence rate is better than the national average.”

Accept the recommendations of scientists

Referring to further restrictions on opening hours and capacity limits in leisure and catering establishments, Marín argued that “it depends on the level of the health emergency. These are not decisions for politicians because when political decisions are made on something as serious as the Covid in the end they will be wrong" and consequently he urged "people to accept the recommendations of scientists."

Marín also referenced the non-renewal of the contracts of some 8,000 health professionals out of the 20,000 hired as a reinforcement to face the coronavirus crisis is the region. The vice president said “they finished their contracts, they were not fired” and he defended that “there are more professionals in healthcare than ever, the number in Andalucía has increased by 26 per cent in the last two years.”