Misc 01/12/2020

Christmas "at risk" if indicators worsen, Budó warns

R number rebounds to 0.84 points but positivity falls below 5%

Núria Orriols / Gemma Garrido
2 min
Cap Gran Sol de Badalona

BarcelonaGovernment spokeswoman Meritxell Budó warned on Tuesday of the "risk" of not being able to "preserve Christmas" if the coronavirus data worsen. "What we do over the bank holiday can have consequences for Christmas, what is important is to restrict interaction to the maximum now," she said, calling for responsibility. In addition, Budó claimed that moving into the next phase, which allows people to travel between towns at the weekend, will be dependent on the data.

Catalonia's R number has stayed below 1, the maximum threshold for the epidemic to be under control. However, it has increased from 0.78 on Monday to 0.84 on Tuesday. This sudden jump, despite possibly being an oscillation due to an increase in the detection of positives between November 21 and 27, shows a change in the trend of the daily reports of the Ministry of Health: since October 31, the R number had gone down or, at least, had remained below 0.80 points. "This may indicate that the trend may begin to change again," warned Budó.

It is still early to consider that the first week of eased restrictions, accompanied by an increase in social interaction, coincides with the slight rise in this key indicator, but the experts consulted by ARA make it clear that it is not the same for the R to rise when the epidemiological curve going is down (as it is now) as when it is going up. However, according to the Government's plan for easing restrictions, the speed of propagation must always be below 0.90 points to consider the change of phase, which would be next week.

In the last fourteen days some 260 infections per 100,000 inhabitants have been detected, less than half of those detected three weeks ago (575) when the second wave was in full swing. The Health Department has reported 1,458 new infections confirmed by a PCR test or antigen test - 907 more than yesterday - even though fewer tests are being done now (about 182,000 per week) than in previous weeks (185,000). The positivity rate, i.e. the percentage of test results which come back positive, is 4.87%, is below the 5% recommended by the World Health Organization.