Fernando Simón, during a press conference. / EFE

Top expert forecasts Spain could enter the Covid 'low risk' zone 'in a week'

Fernando Simón said the country's coronavirus cumulative incidence rate could fall below 50 cases per 100,000 inhabitants threshold very soon

MELCHOR SÁIZ-PARDO

The director of Spain's Centre for the Coordination of Health Alerts and Emergencies, Fernando Simón, said this Wednesday (22 September) that it is likely that "in a week" Spain could reach a cumulative incidence rate of 50 cases of Covid per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days.

That is the threshold that, according to the Ministry of Health traffic light system, marks the entry into the "low risk" zone of the coronavirus pandemic. The country has not been below that incidence rate level since 28 July, 2020.

Simón said the Ministry of Health hopes that the current rate of decrease in cases can be maintained, which is between 25 and 30 per cent every seven days.

The head of the CCAES was optimistic about the decline of the fifth wave of the pandemic, although he acknowledged that the drop in incidence among those under 12 years of age, who are not yet vaccinated, "has slowed down." However, he was sure that in "a few weeks" it will be possible to start vaccinating children between 11 and 6 years old.

"The important thing is to maintain the downward trend" and without "taking steps backwards," insisted the virus specialist.

Not at the end

You have to "be cautious" and "relax things little by little," he said.

"The prospects are very, very good, but we must be aware that we are not at the end," he insisted during a conference on preventive medicine in Santander.

On Tuesday, the coronavirus incidence rate in Spain stood at 78.88 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. To date, only one community, the Asturias (with 21.89), has an incidence rate of less than 50. Moreover, it has entered the "new normal" range, dropping below 25 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.