Spanish Health Ministry in discussions to reduce quarantine period from 14 to 10 days

THE Ministry of Health in Spain is in talks to reduce the quarantine period for close contacts of confirmed cases of coronavirus from 14 to 10 days.

This plan has been discussed in a review of the ‘Strategy for the early detection, surveillance and control of COVID-19’.

Specifically, those who have been in close contact will be under surveillance and quarantined for 10 days after the last contact with a confirmed case.

In any case, depending on the epidemiological situation, each autonomous community may recommend carrying out a diagnostic test during the quarantine period.

The Minister of Health, Salvador Illa, had announced that his department was finalising an agreement with the autonomous communities, with a “broad, if not unanimous, agreement” of the administrations to adopt the decision.

In asymptomatic cases that are positive, the quarantine period will be maintained for 10 days from the date of collection of the sample for diagnosis. The follow-up will be supervised until the epidemiological discharge in the manner established by each autonomous community.

Regarding health and social health personnel that turn out to be a confirmed case and do not require hospital admission, they will follow the same guidelines as the general population regarding isolation. These workers may return to their job 10 days after the onset of symptoms provided they remain asymptomatic for at least the last 3 days, and after performing a diagnostic test that indicates that they have exceeded the period of transmissibility of the infection.

The possibility of reducing the quarantine period of asymptomatic people had been agreed by several autonomous communities, which argue that it is preferable to impose a shorter period of isolation to ensure that those affected comply with the measure.

In fact, the  Secretary of Public Health, Josep Maria Argimon, announced this Tuesday, September 22, that Catalonia will begin to apply it from next week, “I have already made the decision to reduce the quarantine from 14 to 10 days,” he assured.

Although some epidemiologists endorse the measure so that affected people can recover social and work normality as soon as possible, others warn that cutting the quarantine deadlines can be harmful.

This has been pointed out by the former director of Health Assistance in Crisis Situations of the WHO Daniel López Acuña, who has warned that the reduction of quarantines of close contacts with positives “may lead us back to confinement.”

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Damon Mitchell

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As frontman of a rock band Damon used to court the British press, now he lives the quiet life in Spain and seeks to get to the heart of the community, scoring exclusive interviews with ex-pats about their successes and struggles during their new life in the sun.

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