Carolina Darias and Fernando Simón, at the meeting of the Interterritorial Council. / EFE / VIDEO: EP

Minister of Health Carolina Darias rules out eliminating masks outdoors and reducing quarantines, for now

Spain’s coronavirus incidence rate has fallen by 73 to 3,194 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, while the national Health department has registered another 215 Covid deaths in a day

ÁLVARO SOTO

Spain’s Minister of Health, Carolina Darias, has ruled out - for the moment - a reduction in the quarantine period that Covid-19 infected individuals must keep, currently set at seven days.

Lowering this period "is an immature proposal," said the minister after a meeting of the Interterritorial Health Council, between her department and the regions on Wednesday, and she revealed that only one person put this proposal on the table.

“We have to be aware of the moment in which we find ourselves. We will continue with the seven days of quarantine while the cumulative incidence rate is at high levels," said Darias.

Although Spain seems to have reached the peak of the sixth wave, with slight drops in recent days, the coronavirus incidence rate remains above 3,000. Specifically, the 14-day rate is 3,194 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, despite falling 73 compared to the previous day.

In general, the pandemic data remains poor. Infection numbers continue at high levels, with 133,553 new positives recorded in the latest daily statistics making 9,529,320 since the start of the pandemic. The Health department, headed by Darias, also registered 215 more deaths, bringing the official total for the pandemic to 92,591.

Thus, this is not the time to relax any of the restrictions that are still in force, the minister insisted. Eliminating the obligation to wear a mask outdoors is also not a question and in fact, Darias explained, “This restriction was established when we had an incidence rate of 700 cases and now we are four times higher.”

Once again, Darias asked people who have not yet received the booster dose, more than 15 million, to request it as soon as possible. She also left the possibility that residents in senior centers could have a fourth dose open saying, "We will go calmly and patiently."