“Faced with the second wave of the coronavirus, Spain has taken much longer than France to take drastic measures”

A memorial for the victims of Cvid-19 in Madrid.

In a chat with Internet users, the correspondent of World in Madrid, Monday, October 5, Sandrine Morel, returned to the implementation of partial containment in the Spanish capital and in nine municipalities of its periphery.

Read our report: Covid-19: in Madrid, the difficulty of closing the Spanish capital

bilbok: Are there any restrictions in Madrid regarding bars, restaurants, gyms, schools, universities?

Sandrine Morel: In the city of Madrid and in nine surrounding municipalities, bars and restaurants are subject to restrictions. They remain open, but on the condition of reducing their capacity by 50%, closing the service at the counter, no longer accepting customers after 10 p.m. and closing their doors at 11 p.m.

In addition, tables of more than 6 people are prohibited: this is the maximum allowed for “social meetings” throughout the region. Gyms need to reduce their capacity by 50%, too. However, there is no restriction for schools or universities.

MathJac: How do you explain that the situation is so critical in Madrid and that this is not the case in Barcelona where the curves are very stable?

Barcelona suffered a considerable epidemic recovery from the start of July, which made them realize that the virus was still very active and that one should not let go too quickly. Several neighborhoods in the inner suburb of L’Hospitalet de Llobregat were then contained, and the region, which had another very serious outbreak in Lleida, took measures to better control the epidemic, which are bearing fruit. In Madrid, until mid-August, the region lived under the illusion that it had beaten the virus, not least because many residents had gone on vacation elsewhere.

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Gatien: What is the situation in the Balearics and the Canaries? Are they rather preserved or in crisis?

The Balearics and the Canaries are not really preserved by the crisis, but find themselves in a less delicate situation than most of the other Spanish regions – in particular the Canaries, which hope to be able to leave the blacklist of the destinations not recommended (drawn up by Germany) in the coming days (its incidence rate is 51 cases per 100,000 inhabitants over seven days).

The Balearics, for their part, have applied measures to restrict night-time activities and imposed closures in several municipalities in recent weeks, which has allowed them to turn the curve. The archipelago has an incidence rate of 58.

Fleur: What other autonomous communities could strengthen the measures currently in force in the coming weeks?

Navarre is in a very bad epidemiological situation and has confined four municipalities. La-Castille-et-León also has just closed two of its largest cities: León and Palencia.

In Spain, not a day goes by without one or more municipalities being subject to new restrictions. New homes are popping up all over the kingdom all the time and the numbers are bad.

Besides the fact that the Madrid indices are very high, the great peculiarity of the Spanish capital is that the hospital occupancy rate is very worrying: it currently reaches 23% of its capacities, and even amounts to 42%. in intensive care …

In Madrid, October 3, 2020.

arige: Isn’t the carelessness of the political class an aggravating factor of the covid crisis in Spain?

This factor, likely as it is, is unfortunately difficult to measure. However, it is clear that politicians of all stripes have fallen short. The highly decentralized territorial model has been used to pass the buck of responsibility, first over deaths, then economic ruin, and finally epidemic recovery. The Spaniards saw too few active collaborations and far too many sterile reproaches, as the curve turned sharply upward. No one wants to be the one to take tough action …

Read also Coronavirus: Spain abandons budgetary discipline in 2020 and 2021 due to health crisis

lionel: Neither the PP in Madrid nor the socialists at national level give the impression of being very effective managers… Which camp is coming out the most damaged by what is happening? What do the polls say? And what about Podemos?

First of all, you have to understand that the political climate is extremely polarized at the moment, and that there is no transfer of votes between left and right. There was a point in July when the People’s Party (PP) seemed to come up sharply in the polls (to the detriment of Vox), while the PSOE socialists held on and Podemos fell.

The latest surveys show a relapse of the PP quite important. He is undoubtedly paying for his calamitous management in Madrid. The far-right Vox party took the opportunity to regain its positions, while the PSOE and Podemos more or less held on.

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Marina: Why Spain, unlike Italy, failed to contain a second wave?

That’s the question everyone is asking here. Several explanations are given. On the one hand, de-escalation took place much faster in Spain than in Italy, and in a more chaotic manner. Discotheques reopened in Catalonia on June 25, Madrid after July 4, etc.

Another problem also arises: while the Italian government retained control over the management of the pandemic, the Spanish government handed it over to the autonomous regions, which may have hampered the effectiveness of the measures taken, due to the lack of consistency in the criteria applied.

Finally, the main criticisms of the management of this second wave relate to the lack of means of monitoring and tracing contact cases: the Madrid region in particular has invested very little in this type of personnel and quickly lost control of the channels. transmission. In fact, it still identifies very few outbreaks today, which almost exclusively concern individual cases.

Pauline: Is it relevant to draw a parallel between our two capitals, Paris and Madrid, concerning the epidemic evolution?

We can draw a parallel, obviously: the two capitals are very strongly affected by the epidemiological recovery. These are large cities where, due to high mobility and population density, it quickly becomes very difficult to regain control of the epidemic.

However, there are notable differences: Madrid have taken much longer to take drastic measures against this second wave. The Madrid region has a hospital bed occupancy rate of 42%, a test positivity rate of 20%, and it has been more than two weeks since the incidence rate exceeded 250 cases per 100,000 inhabitants out of seven. days. In some areas, the incidence has even exceeded 500. The good news is that the curve seems to be leveling off for Madrid in recent days.

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orwal: Is the count of the number of dead the same as in France? In particular, for those counted in the Spanish nursing homes?

Sandrine Morel: No, the count is different. Here only the dead who test positive for Covid-19 are counted, regardless of where they died. In France, after three deaths from Covid-19 in an nursing home, all the other deaths were considered to be due to Covid-19. It is because this is not the case in Spain that the official death toll shows only 32,000. If we add the deaths of which Madrid suspects the Covid-19 to be the cause, and the deaths that have occurred in nursing homes in Catalonia (where very few tests were carried out at the height of the crisis), we exceed 45,000 dead …

Mari: Is closing the border, like in the spring, a way the government is considering to slow down the second wave?

No. Both the Spanish government and the French government oppose border closures taken on the sidelines of common European decisions. Moreover, according to statistics, cases imported from abroad represent a minimal percentage of new cases. The preferred strategy is to close territories when the virus is in active circulation.

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