The five imminent challenges that Illa leaves Darias in the Ministry of Health
Communities push to tighten restrictions and ask for more doses of the vaccine
MadridCarolina Darias said on Tuesday that she took on the "challenge" of being Minister of Health with "hope, responsibility and a lot of humility". After promising the post before the king, and after Salvador Illa gave her the new portfolio, she explained that her plan is to follow the "path traced" by her predecessor, of whom she praised his "temperance" and "hopeful" tone. However, the fact is that Illa leaves the ministry at the worst moment of the third wave, with a daily record of both infections and deaths, which yesterday rose to 591 in the whole state, the highest figures since the first wave. Darias has to face many challenges, but we collect the most important ones.
Darias, known in the Spanish government for working non-stop without hogging the spotlight, will have to work imminently to try to bend the third curve of the coronavirus. Illa leaves with the slogan that it is possible to defeat the virus and gives as an example the response to the second wave. But the pressure in ICUs in the state as a whole is already above 40%. However, this data is an illusion, because most communities are above 100%.
The Spanish government assures actively and passively that with the same ingredients of October it is possible to get out of the current critical situation, but there is a new variant. The British strain is increasingly present in the State. The ministry itself warned on Tuesday in a report of the "very high impact" that it has in several communities - Madrid believes that 9% of cases come from this variant, which could be 30% more deadly. If the curve does not bend, February could become an even more complicated month than January.
Hence the open debate on the possibility of extending the restrictions. Darias' first appearance will be on Thursday, chairing the meeting of the Interterritorial Health Council, which brings together the regional ministers. At the last meeting, Illa rejected allowing curfew to start at 20:00. The new minister will have to manage the growing autonomic pressure and it will have to be seen if she accepts to increase the current restrictions - or if she doesn't.
An added problem to the British strain is the lack of vaccines. Madrid has already announced that it will stop vaccinating for two weeks to guarantee doses for people who are missing their second dose. And Catalonia will run out of stock this week. Meanwhile, Pedro Sánchez has not wanted to get involved in the open war between the open war between the European Commission and AstraZeneca. Illa took for granted on Tuesday that Spain would receive the new doses "in the coming days" and maintains the promise that after the summer there will be 70% of people vaccinated in the state, a goal that experts see as impossible with the current vaccination level.
If on Thursday Darias will have to be examined before the regional ministers - despite the fact that since November she is part of these inter-territorial meetings -, on Friday she has the duty of reporting back to Parliament regarding the management of the third wave. Illa leaves without having done his homework - he promised to report on the state of alarm on a monthly basis - and has left it in the hands of Darias.