Spain wants to switch to a system in which not all coronavirus infections need to be reported, but on the basis of a statistically reliable sample. Spain is also in floods these days due to infection with the omicron variant, and says it can no longer identify all infections.
Due to the spread of the omikron variant, the Spanish authorities are currently finalizing a plan to monitor the coronavirus, which is based on a similar system that the country has been using for years to monitor the influenza virus. New figures are generated daily on the basis of a statistically reliable sample, and it is no longer necessary to report every contamination on a daily basis. There will also be no testing at the slightest symptom.
“Because of the highly contagiousness of the omikron variant, it becomes impossible to monitor everything constantly,” said Amparo Larauri, head of the Spanish expert group on respiratory diseases CNE. That’s why Spain recently modified its testing requirements: anyone who has had high-risk contact but doesn’t show any symptoms, should not be tested anymore.
The health authorities are scheduled to decide this week when and how the system will enter into force. It probably won’t happen until after the current wave of infections is behind us. Spain is currently plagued by injuries: a new record was set on Friday with 242,440 new infections. However, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez indicated that it is mainly about asymptomatic infection. “We will have to learn to live with the coronavirus, as we do with many other viruses.”