• Health considers that Catalonia is the ‘ground zero’ of the new wave of the pandemic

Catalonia is considered the ‘ground zero’ of the second wave of the coronavirus. This lunchtime, in the daily update of data, the Generalitat has reported 1,949 new infections with 61 ICU admissions.

Moncloa fears that this new wave, which was originally thought would arrive in the autumn, is has jumped forward on the calendar and will now arrive before the end of summer. That has set off alarms in the presidential complex.

The Ministry of Health has reported today 971 new cases in the last 24 hours.

The Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez plans to meet the coronavirus monitoring committee in the next few hours. He was going to meet them on Monday but the extension of the European Council forced him to postpone the appointment.

The figures for the spread of infections reaching Moncloa “are very bad” and the Government is talking to the autonomous communities, about what can be done to slow down the rate of infections.

Placing Barcelona and its metropolitan area at the centre of outbreaks, as Madrid once was, the Ministry of Health has already asked the Generalitat to do everything necessary to prevent community transmission from spreading beyond the area already bounded.

The flow of people between the area and other parts of Catalonia and Spain, especially Madrid, is causing nervousness among those responsible for fighting the pandemic.

For the moment, the government prefers that the autonomous communities continue to be responsible for managing the outbreaks. And this despite the fact that many of them have already confirmed community transmission between regions which has seriously affected the country’s image at a particularly sensitive time for the tourism sector. The Ministry of Health opts for co-governance but leaving decision-making to the CCAA.

More cases, fewer hospitalisations

One of the reasons why the Government has decided not yet to move is because, despite the fact that more cases of infection are being reported, they are not considered serious. The key is in the hospitalizstion figures. At the moment, they assure in Health, that hospital centres “are coping very well”. Most of the newly infected are young, who have contracted the virus in a social and leisure environment, and due to their physical conditions do not require admission.

In recent days, therefore, a change in trend has been observed in some regions. According to those same sources, in the last week, the number of hospital care and transfers to the ICU has slightly increased. This is because many of these young people, in some cases asymptomatic, have passed the virus on to older relatives during visits to their homes and places of origin.

This is what the health authorities are most concerned about and why they are studying more restrictive measures than those imposed so far.

The closure of the border, hangs by a thread

In Moncloa they maintain that the border between France and Spain will not be closed. President Sánchez and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Arancha González Laya, spoke about the matter on Tuesday. Only the Minister of Industry, Tourism and Commerce, Reyes Maroto, has said that this could happen.

Border areas are the most affected by infections today. Catalonia, Navarra, Aragon and La Rioja are the communities that most concern the Government and on which France has its sights set.

In the last few hours, in the tourist municipalities that border France have become increasingly aware of the situation in Spain. Hhotels have received dozens of cancellations from tourists from southern France who, given the situation, have chosen to postpone their holidays in Spain.