Hospital pressure continues to increase and EPG rises above 600
Public Health Secretary does not rule out closing schools if the situation worsens in coming weeks
BarcelonaPressure on Catalan hospitals continues to rise. This Friday there are 49 people more hospitalized by covid-19 and 12 more in ICUs. This is what concerns experts the most, according to the Secretary of Public Health, Josep Maria Argimon, who says that admissions have not stopped rising steadily from the December bank holiday and that a complicated situation is expected in the upcoming weeks. "Madrid numbers could also start to shoot up, as is already happening in other European countries", he added this Friday in an interview with the SER Catalunya radio station.
In addition, the EPG number has risen by 29 points up to 615, a figure that had not been reached since 11 November, during the peak of the second wave, despite the fact that the rate of contagion (R number) has dropped by one hundredth to 1.46. Deaths and daily confirmed cases with PCR or antigen tests continue to rise: the Health Department has recorded 3,950 new infections, 1,642 more than yesterday, and 42 more deaths (-6). Despite the negative epidemiological figures, 13,000 people have been vaccinated in the last few hours, bringing the total up to 37,114
Argimon has not taken a stance on whether the current measures will be extended for more than ten days, and remains on standby. "The only thing I want to see is if we manage to stop the curve from growing, not bend it", he said with concern, and admitted that the Government would have to explain regulations in a more "balanced" way, separating political communication from technical communication. The Secretary of Public Health has insisted: "If we lock ourselves up we will not get infected, but to do this we need effective help".
Schools open on Monday
Argimon has reiterated that schools will reopen this Monday: "We have to try, and if in three weeks we can't, we will correct the situation". If everything goes wrong, he admitted, the necessary measures will be taken, and he recalled that the same voices that are now asking not to return to school also took the same position in September. "If we had listened to them, we would have not opened schools", he insisted. He also pointed out that although the current EPG is "very high", the figures of the second wave, when schools were open, have not been reached.