Idea of ​​the Spanish government: the “flu exposure” of the corona pandemic

Status: 12.01.2022 12:13 p.m.

Despite record numbers of new infections, the Spanish government wants to treat the corona pandemic like a regular disease. Doctors warn against trivialization.

By Reinhard Spiegelhauer, ARD Studio Madrid

In the morning program of state television, new record values ​​are announced day after day: The 14-day incidence, which is the usual benchmark in Spain, is around 3000, says the moderator. The government is thinking of a new strategy, of “influenzaization”. It is about treating corona like the flu – as a recurring disease.

Reinhard Spiegelhauer
ARD-Studio Madrid

Reconciling health protection and business

It is also a matter of reconciling health protection and the economy, says Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez – he argues that mortality is significantly lower in the current corona wave than in previous ones. It is one percent – compared to thirteen percent in previous ones.

The Prime Minister says that a change of strategy must be prepared – but many experts in Spain consider this to be quite brisk. In nine of the seventeen autonomous communities, the highest warning level for the load on the intensive care units has been exceeded: More than a quarter of the beds are occupied by Covid patients – and because of the many infections, Omikron also has so many serious cases that the wards are full says intensive care doctor José Guerrero. The general burden on hospitals has also increased enormously in the past few weeks, with many postponed operations being completely canceled.

The wards in many hospitals are full. The general burden on hospitals has also increased enormously in the past few weeks, with many postponed operations being completely canceled.

Image: EPA

“Flualization” belittles Corona

The virologist Margarita del Val, from the prestigious state research institute CSIC, thinks that the idea of ​​“flu-alisation” comes quite early. The wave is far from over, the highest number of deaths is not expected for three weeks.

Other experts see it the same way: to speak of “flu exposure” is trivializing the disease. If you come to the intensive care unit with bilateral pneumonia due to the Omikron variant, you are just as bad off as patients with previous Corona variants, says intensive care doctor Guerrero.

Range of protective measures

The individual autonomous communities are still reacting very differently to the increasing number of cases. In Catalonia there is again a night curfew, Asturias has banned hospitality in indoor areas, in some regions 2G applies to some activities.

In the capital Madrid, on the other hand, there are hardly any restrictions in everyday life, apart from a general mask requirement – with a seven-day incidence of well over 1000. At least everything here has long been “flu-like”.

Spain government wants to normalize the pandemic

Reinhard Spiegelhauer, ARD Madrid, 11.1.2022 · 11:32

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