New Year’s Eve in the balance as further restrictions considered

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New Year's Eve in the balance as new restrictions considered
New Year's Eve in the balance as new restrictions considered

Few things can be taken for granted in the current global pandemic situation. Spain’s Government, together with the Autonomous Communities (CCAA) agreed in early December on measures for the Christmas holidays that, days later, had to be reviewed due to the deterioration of the coronavirus crisis. And this situation, far from ending, could worsen even more in the coming days.

Currently the main movement of the pandemic is going in the wrong direction, data that has not gone unnoticed in the Generalitat.

For several days the Valencian Community has been flirting between levels 3 and 4, the maximum alert and the data recorded on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday firmly puts us in this last section, the so-called “very high” risk, according to the classification issued by the Ministry of Health on October 22.

In full knowledge of this scenario, the Valencian Government is once again reflecting on it’s handling of the final few days of the year. Although Christmas Eve will be celebrated under the agreed conditions, no one rules out that the situation may be rethought for New Year’s Eve, an event that tends to be rather more festive in Spain than Christmas.

Reviewing the current data, everything must be considered. This Wednesday 2,531 new infections were registered, with 20 deaths, a small increase in hospital admissions to 1,414 but much busier in ICUs, with 242 critical patients, 60 new outbreaks and 101 cases in care homes, very close to the very worst period that we saw of 103 back in April.

The level of incidence accumulated in the last 14 days in regard to infections has risen to 346 (309 on Tuesday), the third highest in Spain. The ceiling of the ministry in considering the risk “very high” is set at 250. Furthermore, the Region is also well above the cumulative incidence in people over 65 years of age.

On Wednesday the occupation of ICU beds was also at a level considered to be ‘very high’  currently standing at 25.6%, six tenths above the upper limit although on the plus side the occupation of conventional hospital beds by covid patients stands at 13%, still at alert level 3 (narrowly below the limit of 15%).

All these developments are currently causing some concern amongst members of the Valencian Government who say that, even at this stage, additional measures are not ruled out. It is true that the balance between health and the economy has been one of the workhorses for the Presidency and there is great reluctance to increase restrictions, especially in the field of commerce and hospitality, even more so when the green light was recently given to the nightlife venues may open with bar conditions.

However, the current figures now mean that additional options are being considered such as specific restrictions for New Year’s Eve, a measure that could perhaps see the curfew brought forward even more. Nothing is yet ruled out at the Palau de la Generalitat.

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