Covid in Catalonia: the virus becomes ‘flu’ and becomes “one more respiratory virus”

The famous ‘flu’ covid-19 pandemic has arrived in Catalonia. Starting next Monday, the Ministry of Health stop counting case by case (the Web will only update on Tuesdays and Fridays) and confirmed infections that are asymptomatic or mild will not have to isolate strict as before.

Salut has presented this Friday the update of the action protocol against covid-19, an adaptation to the territory of the ‘Surveillance and control strategy against covid-19’ approved on Tuesday by the Public Health Commission of the Ministry of Health. The coronavirus thus becomes “one more respiratory virus”, like the flu, in the words of the Secretary of Public Health, Carmen Heads. “[Si tienes covid-19] You have to behave the same as with other viruses: do not go to see vulnerable people and take care of yourself,” he added.

The high vaccination coverage of the population, together with the immunity of all the people who have been infected by the omicron variant, the lower severity of this variant and a lower hospital occupancy expected have pushed the health authorities to limit the indications of isolates. “Efforts will be concentrated on the vulnerable people,” For his part, the deputy director general of Surveillance and Response to Public Health Emergencies, Jacob Mendioroz.

bye bye quarantine

The great novelty of this ‘flu’ of the pandemic is that people infected with covid-19 who are mild or asymptomatic They won’t have to quarantine. Neither do their contacts They will not have to be isolated or tested. So, hello nor will carry out the identification of confirmed cases actively in the general population. Cabezas recalled that, in the mitigation phase of the epidemic that Catalonia entered weeks ago, tests were no longer carried out on contacts.

Those who have covid-19, even if they are mild or asymptomatic, should limit social interaction not see vulnerable people, stay at home as long as possible and use the mask. As with the rest of respiratory viruses. What’s more, cancellations will only be made “with clinical criteria” (that is, to serious cases) or by indications in the most vulnerable areas: there will no longer be automatic withdrawals to isolate for having covid-19, but “recommendations” to treat the disease. A mild covid-19 patient is one who He has no underlying diseases or respiratory difficulties.

vulnerable environments

Anti-Covid efforts will focus, starting Monday, on “vulnerable areas” such as nursing homes There, diagnostic tests will be carried out on the positives and their contacts on the first day and the third. The positives will have to isolate themselves, but for five days, not seven. In addition, serial antigens will be done every 24 or 48 hours until the result is negative.

The close contacts They will not have to quarantine, but they will be tested for PCR to find out if they are infected.

In addition, hello It will only screen for covid-19 in new admissions to residences and in major outpatient surgeries. Also in the workers of the residential centers: the vaccinated will be made antigens every 14 days; the unvaccinated, every seven. In the schools there will be no specific measures unless there is a case of “vulnerability”.

less tests

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Thus, diagnostic tests for covid-19 are now recommended in older than 60 years who believe they have been infected, to the people from vulnerable backgrounds and those who have clinical severity (those who present a picture of acute respiratory infection that requires hospital admission). Also to those who have been, in the last 14 days, in some region where a variant of SARS-CoV-2 circulates that is “of interest”.

In the coming days, those who consult the website will see how the incidence of the virus will drop, because Fewer cases will be counted. Salut calculates that the lower monitoring of the virus will not translate into a greater impact on care. “There is also no case-by-case follow-up of the flu,” Mendioroz and Cabezas have justified.

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