“If we want to descend to objective levels of public security, we must sacrifice Holy Week”, said the President of the Principality, Adrián Barbón, in February. Asturias has been positioning itself as one of the toughest communities when it comes to applying restrictive measures to halt the spread of the coronavirus. “The region has not had the upswings that other areas have had thanks to the fact that the restrictions have been maintained,” explains epidemiologist Daniel López Acuña, former director of Health Assistance in Crisis at WHO . “The situation in other nearby communities is one of an increase in cases and a fourth wave,” said Rafael Cofiño, director of Public Health of the Principality this Thursday at a press conference. “In other nearby regions, measures have been established again. restrictive and this is a scenario that we cannot lose sight of in the coming months, “added the head of Health. Despite the fact that infections continue to rise in the region, the Government non-autonomous region has decided to start relaxing its restrictive policy.
Plateau health status
“The message is clear: the virus continues to circulate”, in the words of Cofiño. In figures. Today, the Ministry of Health has confirmed 146 cases detected in the last 24 hours in addition to six deaths, the highest number in thirty days. In turn, in the last week, Health has detected seven new outbreaks, bringing the active outbreaks to 31. In total, there are 245 cases in the Principality and the positivity rate stands at 5.06%.
Currently, there are 161 hospitalized patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 and another 63 people remain in intensive care units. The total occupancy due to COVID in Asturian hospitals is 6.4% while in ICUs it rises to 19.32%. The converted centers for the care of patients with coronavirus do not have any hospitalized.
“These measures are adapted to this new healthcare situation, which is level three,” commented the Director of Health of Asturias. “Despite the fact that the incidence has remained very stable in recent weeks, we are in a plateau situation with high healthcare pressure in primary care, in hospitalizations and in ICUs,” added Cofiño in the company of the Sespa managing director, Concepción Saavedra, and the head of Covid-19 Health Alerts and Emergencies, Miguel Prieto. Those responsible for Health have detailed today the new measures that the president, Adrián Barbón, was already advancing yesterday, and that will be applied from 00:00 on Saturday, April 10.
More relaxed measurements
The Government of Asturias raises the number of diners per table on the terraces of hotel establishments to six people and extends the opening hours in these outdoor areas with the only limit of the curfew, which will be set from 23:00 on Saturday. : 00 hours. In addition, inside bars and restaurants the maximum of four people per table is maintained and the service is extended until 9:00 p.m. Attention at the bar will continue to be restricted, except for home collection, so consumption will always have to be done at the table.
In addition to the flexibility of the measures that affect the hospitality industry, Health also authorizes the opening of hotels and tourist accommodation with a maximum capacity of 50% in common areas. In the case of shelters it will be 30%. Tourist guide and entertainment activities will also be resumed when they are carried out in groups of no more than 15 people inside and 25 outside. These limits will be applied in the same way in museums, libraries, exhibition halls or monuments.
“If alert level 4 is reached, we will have to back off.”
As for shops, from Saturday the allowed capacity rises to 50% in premises with less than 300 square meters, as well as in the common areas of shopping centers. The council authorizes, in turn, the restart of regional competitions in the senior and youth categories, as well as the attendance of the public with a maximum of 300 spectators. The outdoor sports activity can be practiced in groups of up to 25 people, while in closed facilities a capacity of 50% is set and a limit of 15 participants for group classes. In the swimming pools for sports use, the capacity rises to 4 people per street.
Health technicians wanted to make it clear that “Asturias is facing one of the most positive situations that we could hope for”, especially due to the high rate of vaccination achieved. Even so, “if in a week we see an increase in cases, not only should the restrictive measures not be relaxed. They should be intensified ”, the epidemiologist López Acuña considers in this regard and Cofiño agrees:“ if an alert level 4 is reached, we will have to go backwards ”.