Since the coronavirus crisis Starting to advance timidly within our borders, one region has stood out above the rest within saturation, horror and widespread tragedy. Madrid has become the nerve center of the pandemic in Spain, and is now back in focus for a suspicious rebound: in the last 24 hours, 981 new infections have been registered in the region alone, three times the previous day when 363 more positives were registered and not counting those diagnosed with serological tests. In total, the number of infections in Madrid it stands at 60,765 while the deceased reach 8,105, according to the latest official balance from the Ministry of Health.
The stark reality that the figures offer coincides with one of the most important announcements since the state of alarm: the de-escalation plan “Gradual and asymmetric” that the Government has prepared for the progressive unconfinement of the population, a guide that, despite having defined the criteria on what can and cannot be done in each of the four established phases, It leaves unknowns such as the absence of a defined calendar and the parameters that will determine which provinces – chosen unit of measure – will change phase, how and when. The general horizon? End of June.
According to government calculations, the entire country is expected to enter phase 0 next Monday May 4, although in the successive stages not all territories will enter at the same time. In the Community of Madrid they rule out staying the last ones – with the economic and social implications that this entails – and are already working on a plan to “reopen as soon as possible” although with strong security measures. At this point, a question arises: should Madrid de-escalate at the same rate as the rest of the provinces? Are you even ready to enter Phase 0 after registering nearly 1,000 cases in a single day?
The former PSOE minister and economist Miguel Sebastian he thinks it is “nonsense”. He affirms not only that Madrid must de-escalate slower, but questions that he must enter the first phase if he wants. It also links the optimistic data of the last days with ‘hibernation’ at Easter, and the latest spikes with the subsequent revival of the economy, which in Madrid involves, among other consequences, a increased influx of public transport, one of the sources of contagion.
«In the last five days, only Madrid has had more cases than the whole of Greece in the entire pandemic; in the last 10 days, more than all of Australia; in the last 15 days, more than all of South Korea. Are we really in Madrid ready for phase 0? “Asked Sebastián, through a message in Twitter.
In the last 5 days, only Madrid has had more cases than the whole of Greece in the entire pandemic, 2.6k.
In the last 10 days, more than all of Australia 6.7k
In the last 15 days, more than all S. Korea in the entire pandemic 10.7k
Are we really in Madrid ready for phase 0?
– Miguel Sebastian (@migsebastiang) April 29, 2020
Lights and shadows to leave Madrid behind
The question is clear. Is Madrid ready to advance at the same rate as the rest of Spain or will it be the last to reach the ‘new normal’? But the answer is hesitant and full of “uncertainty.” Several experts consulted by The Independent coincide in pointing out that Madrid’s own idiosyncrasy – some link it in this process to the decisions made regarding Barcelona – indicates that «The reasonable thing is make your de-escalation slower»And advance« with your own pace and even with differentiated measures », indicates the economist and former deputy of Citizens Francisco de la Torre.
However, he points out that “it is not correct” to assert with complete certainty that the last one should remain because, beyond the number of infections, “there is no data to support this statement”. The economist points out the absence of thresholds defined by the Government and the existence of other parameters beyond the epidemiological one, such as the strength of the health system or economic weaknesses. “You have to understand that the pressure to confine Madrid is much greater than that of Chiclana de la Frontera,” he exemplifies. “And Madrid accounts for 20% of GDP,” he recalls.
But there are more edges that add to the unknown about the symmetrical or asymmetric lack of precision in the capital. Among them, the absence of the results of the seroprevalence study and the lack of traceability of infections before enacting measures. AND Madrid, compared to other regions, may be the territory with the highest number of immunized Given the virus, so “a regrowth would not be as aggressive as a new outbreak in places where there have been hardly any cases,” insists Francisco de la Torre to explain the complexity of the matter. In addition, “in Madrid contagions were triggered in large part by the massive protests of the weekend of March 8, and that will not happen again.”
“Define the threshold that we are willing to bear”
“It is true that as more people have passed the disease, there will be more immunity,” agrees the economist José Ángel Morales, professor in the Department of Cell Biology at the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM), but “It must go slower than the rest”, he asserts, taking as reference the data of the last days.
The capital it has ‘pluses’ of contagion, as is the question of mobility and its wide metropolitan area, as recalled by Fernando Rodríguez Artalejo, director of Preventive Medicine and Public Health at the Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM), for which he asks for “prudence” when taking measures, although it does not reveal what the most appropriate decision would be due to the “complexity” of Madrid’s reality and the lack of data. «Whether Madrid leaves earlier or not is not a black or white decision. It may be yes, but with nuances, “he says.
Those «nuances» that Artalejo points out are corroborated by the CSIC scientist, Luis Miller. In his opinion, “there will not be a unilateral decision that leaves behind an autonomous community” on the part of the Government, and opens the door to a possible scenario: Madrid to move forward along with all the autonomous regions but with different measures “that are left in the hands of the region itself”, such as concrete action in its unique public transport.
“Madrid has many connotations that the rest of the sites do not have,” stresses Javier Lozano, a doctor and former president of the Spanish Society for Preventive Medicine, Public Health and Hygiene (SEMPSPH), “and this will require differentiated regulations.” For example, «How are we going to keep a meter away in the Madrid Metro? How are they going to guarantee it? There is still much to be solved », ditch.
In short, everyone agrees in pointing out that the decision is made, it will not be known if it was right or wrong until its consequences due to the lack of data are known and, above all, test. “These kinds of decisions are very dizzying,” adds Francisco de la Torre. “I would not like to be in the shoes of those who have to take them, for all that it entails,” he says.
“We must be clear about something,” says the UAM epidemiologist. «As soon as the measures are relaxed, the contagions will rise. Now there will come a moral dilemma: define the threshold of death and contagion that we are willing to bear “, in exchange for nothing more and nothing less than freedom.
The PP will pressure Sánchez: «Madrid cannot wait»
The City of Madrid He is already preparing his own de-escalation plan with which to put pressure on the Government – the sole command is held by the Ministry of Health – so that it does not relegate Madrid to the last starting blocks in the return to normality. The premise is clear: they will not accept a ‘no’ for an answer.
“The priority is to revive the city. There are many, many people in need, businesses and premises that will go bankrupt. We need to de-scale with speed and certainty », indicate municipal sources. «Madrid cannot wait. We do not want to be the last », they assert.
The plan orchestrated from Madrid will have several edges – several companies have been contracted and a “line of contacts with consultancies and consultancies” has been established to orchestrate how to de-escalate “with all the guarantees” – but the main one will come from a political perspective : a great deal with the opposition that, according to the same sources, could be announced at the end of the week to urge the Government to a quick but guaranteeing lack of confidence in the capital of Spain.
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(Video: The Country)