By Chris King • 29 December 2021 • 3:00
Jesus Aguirre hints at Andalucian Health's new approach to tackling Covid.
Jesus Aguirre, the Andalucian Minister of Health and Families, affirmed this Tuesday, December 28, that his Department will be studying the “need or not, to carry out diagnostic tests for active infection (PDIA), given the high number of infections due to the Omicron variant of the coronavirus in our community”.
In a subsequent appearance at the Governing Council of the Junta de Andalucia, Aguirre stressed that the current approach of the Ministry is, “whether to continue or not, with so many tests, and to maintain these PDIAs, as other autonomous communities are also evaluating”.
“It involves a very large volume of tests and personnel, and it will be necessary to see if it has been efficient. We will have to study whether it is necessary to carry out a PDIA, or PCR to everyone, or to look instead only at those who are not vaccinated, or only have symptoms”.
Another issue that is on the table could be the suitability of “continuing to maintain the ten days of quarantine for those who have been in close contact with a positive”, explained the Minister.
Aguirre underlined that in the last week, the Board has carried out 250,000 PDIA tests, “which represents a million of these tests in a month. Likewise, we want to maximize vaccination levels. For this reason, we have established 91 ‘self-test’ points, and the Ministry of Defence has been asked for 90 more trackers, and fifty vaccination teams”.
The Minister of Health also referred to the “extremely high” Accumulated Incidence (AI) rate, which this Tuesday stands at 911 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in Andalucia. “Even though it is the lowest of all the autonomous communities, this should not lead us to a positive chant, but rather the opposite”.
“This Wednesday 29, we will exceed a thousand cases of Accumulated Incidence, and the peak will be greater than the maximum limit reached in the third wave of the pandemic, but with a great difference in relation to hospital admissions”, added Aguirre.
He justified the better data from this sixth wave as being down to the vaccinations, “which has shown that it is not the panacea, but the solution. The Omicron strain is the predominant one in Andalucia, it is much more contagious but less virulent. That is why we are approaching it from the Board’s group of experts in a different way than the previous ones”, he explained.
Finally, Aguirre referred to the care pressure that Andalucian hospitals are currently experiencing, with 958 patients admitted to the wards, and 161 in an ICU. “Figures that represent 20 per cent of those hospitalised in the third wave, in which 5,000 people were admitted”.
Aguirre pointed out that the current situation indicates that the health map is changing. “Most of Andalucia is at alert level 1, except for Cordoba, Malaga, and Sevilla, which are at level 2. However, these levels do not carry restrictions, but they are indicative. The solution has been the Covid passport, and the awareness of Andalucians”, as reported by diariosur.es.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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