The director of the Coordination Center for Health Alerts and Emergencies of the Ministry of Health, Fernando Simon, dared this Wednesday with a new prediction: “Right now there is no talk of blocking the Community of Madrid.”
Simon He had not been in attendance for two days, since on Monday the government made the end of the “containment phase” official and recognized that the spread of the virus had gotten out of hand in the Community of Madrid and Vitoria.
Just 24 hours earlier, on Sunday morning, the expert himself pledged his word in defense of the Executive’s decision to maintain the March 8 protests. It was then that many Spaniards who had hitherto confidently trusted their forecasts realized that it was not infallible.
The coronavirus has even surpassed the epidemiologist who dared to battle Ebola, Zika, and listeriosis. In the 40 days since he appeared to explain the first case diagnosed in Spain, that of a German tourist tourist in La Gomera, Simon He has made a dozen wrong predictions that have remained as lapidary phrases in the newspaper archive.
That day, January 31, Simon He predicted: “It seems that the epidemic has the possibility of starting to subside. We believe that Spain will not have, at most, beyond a diagnosed case. Hopefully there will be no local transmission. If there is, it will be very limited and very controlled. But Spain has to work in all possible scenarios. ”
From “some case” we have passed to the more than 2,000 counted this Wednesday, while the authorities have already announced that the coronavirus crisis will not subside for another two months, in the best of scenarios, and four or five in the worst.
The days passed and on February 9 there was a second case in Mallorca, that of a British citizen who had been in contact with an infected person in France. Simon He appeared and announced: “At the moment, Spain’s risk level is relatively low. There is no reason to be alarmed, it is under control.”
Four days later, on February 13, the first Spanish victim died in Valencia, although it was not known until March 5. He had allegedly died of pneumonia, but tests after his death confirmed that he had the Covid-19 virus.
The days passed and on February 23, after the death of two people in Italy and the isolation of 50,000 in the north of the country, the person in charge of the Center for Coordination of Health Alerts and Emergencies wanted to send a message of calm: “In Spain neither there is no virus and the disease is not being transmitted, “he said. It happens that, although it became known much later, at this point the virus was already circulating in Spain without being detected.
On February 28 there were already 41 infected and what is worse: the first local contagion (not imported from countries at risk) had been reported in Seville. Simon he continued in his thirteen: “There is no reason to change the scenario because the risk is perfectly defined, it is not a population risk.” He added: “Containment is working.”
A day later, he stressed that Health did not see “reasons for the moment to suspend events or celebrations such as the Fallas.” However, the quintessential Valencia party was postponed sine die this Tuesday night.
The events were precipitating when reaching March. On day 2, the epidemiologist announced that he had passed the hundred diagnosed cases, but he insisted again that some remedies could be worse than the disease, as the saying goes: “It should not be a serious problem to hold mass events. Suspend events It would mean that the virus circulates uncontrollably throughout our country. It is a situation that must be carefully evaluated and applied if it is going to have a real effect or not. There are measures that are sometimes more effective than effective. ”
Two days later, just a week ago now, Italy decided to close its colleges and universities. They asked Simon If the measure could end up being implemented in Spain, he replied: “Closing schools would not reduce risks, but would increase them.” At this point the Community of Madrid and La Rioja have closed theirs, and the children of Vitoria have not been going to class since Tuesday either.
Just 24 hours later, and in response to the demand for information, the expert returned to appear and denied that the hospitals were at risk of collapse: “If our hospitals are able to withstand the pressure that the flu generates every year, if the same contingency systems, hospitals will be able to support it, “he said. This Wednesday, on the contrary, he recognized that there are “very saturated” hospitals, basically in the Community of Madrid.
Last Sunday, when the Community of Madrid had already informed the Ministry of Health that the number of infections had exploded exponentially, the director of the Center for Coordination of Health Alerts and Emergencies continued to maintain that the coronavirus was under control and even justifying the manifestations of the 8-M: “It is a call for nationals in which nationals participate in principle, but it does not mean that there are no foreigners or some from some risk area, but it is not a massive influx of people from areas of risk”.
This Wednesday, 40 days later, the blow came: at best this national emergency will last “two months.”