The covid pass fiasco
BarcelonaIt had been known for many weeks that, in the event of an upturn in cases, the first measure to be taken would be to extend the compulsory use of the covid pass to all catering businesses, as well as gyms and nursing homes. In fact, since it was approved as a requirement to access clubs, there has been ample time to anticipate all eventualities and test the operation in a real environment. It is therefore incomprehensible that an operational system had not been set up to enable millions of covid passports to be issued in a short space of time, if it was also foreseen that the decision could be taken, as it has been, practically from one day to the next. There is no excuse, then, for the problems that have occurred this Friday in the application La Meva Salut, completely collapsed by the avalanche of requests to download the covid certificate, which has forced the Catalan government to backtrack and suspend at least until Monday the mandatory use of the certificate.
In the management of the pandemic there have been, on the part of the Generalitat and the Spanish government, successes and mistakes. And just as it is only fair to point out that the vaccination process has been exemplary, even within the European context, we must also point out mistakes such as the management of the covid pass. The only thing that can be asked now is maximum diligence to solve the computer problems and that from Monday a measure can be effectively implemented which, given the upsurge in infections and the worrying information about a new African variant of the coronavirus, is more necessary than ever to maintain a minimum working, social and cultural life. We must also call on those in charge of the affected premises to be, in turn, diligent in complying with the regulations, since more severe restrictions are in play, such as those already applied in some European countries where vaccination has not been so successful.
The other front of concern, in this case worldwide, is the impact of the new variant detected in southern Africa, which has caused the EU to jointly suspend all flights to this area of the planet. As already happened with the delta variant, this one would be more contagious due to its multiple mutations, but it is not certain that it would be more lethal. Experience suggests caution, and the EU has acted swiftly after a first case was detected in Belgium, but alarmism must also be avoided, as the scientific community insists that vaccination still acts as an effective shield against the most serious cases of the disease. However, as there are still many countries with insufficient vaccination, a more contagious variant could trigger hospitalisations and cause a further slowdown in the global economy just when it is recovering. It is this expectation that has led to significant falls in the stock market, especially in Europe. We must remain vigilant and avoid repeating the mistakes of the past with this new variant. And this also means not relaxing nor thinking that the pandemic has been overcome.