Spain Calls for Debate to Consider Covid as Endemic, Like Flu
(Bloomberg) -- Spain is calling on Europe to debate the possibility that Covid-19 can now be treated as an endemic illness, setting a model to monitor its evolution akin to the one used for flu.
“It’s a necessary debate; Science has given us the answer to protect ourselves,” Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said in interview yesterday with radio station Cadena Ser, adding that the virus’s lethality has been dropping since the beginning of the pandemic. “We have to evaluate the evolution of covid from pandemic to an endemic illness,” he said.
Sanchez’s comments come as omicron, the latest variant dominating large swathes of Europe, has seen lower rates of hospitalizations and deaths than previous strains even as infections have soared.
Sanchez said there may be reasons now, “with precaution,” to assess the disease with different parameters than those used so far.
The Spanish government has been working on a new monitoring approach in the last weeks and Health Minister Carolina Darias has brought the matter up with her European counterparts, said Sanchez.
Spain reported almost 692,000 new cases in the last seven days, with 13.4% of hospital beds used for Covid patients, according to the Health Ministry data. That compares with 13.8% a year earlier, when the number of recorded weekly cases was just above 115,000.
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