Oriol Mitjá. File photograph. / SUR

Spanish expert in infectious diseases issues stark warning: "We are facing a seventh wave of Covid”

Catalan epidemiologist Oriol Mitjá has warned that Spain’s current sentinel monitoring system is inadequate and has called for the return of diagnostic tests, isolation and masks

ALMUDENA NOGUÉS

“We are facing the seventh wave of the coronavirus. Covid is out of control.” This is how bluntly the epidemiologist Oriol Mitjá expressed himself after testing positive for the coronavirus.

The Spanish expert in infectious diseases shared the news on his Twitter account, in which he uploaded an image with the result of an antigen test. And he pointed out that in recent days there has been an increase in incidence rates, hospitalisations and also in the death toll.

His theory is that he became infected with coronavirus during Sant Jordi while signing books "despite wearing the FFP2 mask at all times," he explained during a telephone interview on the programme 'Everything is a lie', with Risto Mejide.

Called for return of diagnostic tests, isolation and masks

In an explanatory thread on his Twitter account, Mitjá has called for the return of diagnostic tests, isolation, masks and improved ventilation. "The population has been losing immunity and more transmissible variants such as BA.2 or XE have arrived," he warned.

“We are facing a new wave. This variant has immune escape, just like Omicron 1, and continues to escape vaccines. It is going to infect the rest of the Spanish people who did not suffer from BA.1”, the researcher warned.

Mitjá has insisted that there is a lot of Covid in the country right now. “The north of Spain is flooded with an incidence rate 1,000 cases within 14 days. We are starting a seventh wave and we are a bit pissed off because tests are not being done and the detection systems we have are precarious. The surveillance system is very bad. We go blind. Many measures should be put in place to stop the increase in prevalence and that includes the use of masks, facilitating antigen tests or isolation”, he reiterated during his talk with Risto Mejide.

Virus is still spreading, changing and killing

“The Secretary General of the WHO has scolded the member states, warning that this virus is not going away: it is still spreading, it is still changing and it is still killing. When it comes to a deadly virus, ignoring it will not make us happier”, he said on Twitter.

Faced with this scenario, the epidemiologist has been in favour of reintroducing face masks in certain interior spaces and has regretted that in Spain only 50 per cent of the population has received the third dose of the vaccine: “We should try to increase that percentage to stop the spread of the virus," he stressed. As for the fourth dose, Mitjá believes that it should be given "to people who had the third jab more than six months ago, especially if they are vulnerable."