Spain wants to make a major change in its corona policy. In addition, corona will no longer be regarded as a pandemic, but increasingly as an endemic disease that occasionally crops up, just like the normal flu.
That is why Spain is working on a new surveillance system: Sentinel. This is similar to the flu monitoring system.
The biggest difference with now will be that not every corona infection is registered and followed up by policy anymore. Instead, a network of hospitals and health centers will use samples to calculate how the disease is spreading. In this way, the development of the virus is tracked and mapped. Spain wants to start using this system as soon as the sixth corona wave is over.
Spanish Prime Minister Sánchez said in an interview with radio station on Monday: Ser chain“We need to get there to see Covid-19 as an endemic disease and not as the pandemic as we have done so far.” According to Sánchez, due to the rapid advance of the omikron variant, it is no longer possible to register all infections.
Sánchez calls on other countries to also conduct this debate at European level. ,,I believe we are in the circumstances to – with caution, conduct this debate, (…) also at European level. We can view the evolution of corona with different parameters than we do until now.”
The new system will be announced at the moment when the corona figures in Spain break records: there were again 242,000 new infections on Friday. The total number has exceeded one million in the last two weeks with 1,289,952 new cases. Sánchez: “Most cases are asymptomatic, we have to learn to live with corona like we live with many other viruses.” He emphasized that the death rate from the vaccinations has fallen sharply. “We are at a one percent lethality rate.”
In practice, the protocols in Spain have already been relaxed. For example, direct contacts of people who have tested positive but have no complaints are no longer obliged to test. There are also fewer restrictions than in the Netherlands: the catering industry is open throughout Spain. However, in some regions nightlife has been restricted. In most regions there is also a maximum group size at a table, but often it is around ten people. Also, a QR code is now mandatory in almost all regions – although it was introduced much later in Spain than in the rest of Europe.
The only national rule is the mask obligation – which currently also applies outside on the street. Sánchez says that the use of face masks will remain important in the future. “It has been proven that masks and vaccinations are the best means of preventing infection.”