On Friday, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the international emergency due to the covid-19 pandemic, which had been declared since January 30, 2020, to be over, given the notable reduction in serious cases and deaths globally.
The decision was announced by the director general of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, after the organisation’s emergency committee met on Thursday to analyse the current situation of the pandemic, which in more than three years has affected at least 765 million people and has caused the death of some 20 million.
The data of the pandemic in Spain
In Spain, the situation is stabilised, although infections, hospitalisations, and subsequent deaths are still continuing, albeit at a lesser extent. The hospital and transmission indicators, which have been progressively decreasing, show a slight incidence of the disease, at least since November of last year, after the seventh wave of summer.
Right now there is 2% hospital occupancy compared to more than 25 that was reached in the worst peaks. As for the incidence, which is now only measured in those over 59 years of age, it is around 90 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.
As of the details published by the Ministry of Health on Friday 5 May, now published fortnightly, there are 13,845,825 total confirmed cases reported in Spain. The number of people who have died from Covid in Spain stands at 120,964.
Therefore, for the month of April, there have been an additional 47,078 Covid infections, compared to 35,411 in March, and 31,858 in February. Therefore, from the government´s own figures, infections are still on an upward trajectory, increasing each month.
As for deaths, in April, an additional 538 deaths from Covid were confirmed, although this is around half of the 1,046 in March, and lower than the 946 om February.
The way forward calls for prudence
Despite declaring the pandemic as over, the WHO has still called for prudence, as this does not mean that the virus has disappeared.
The virus still exists and therefore a good immune state must be maintained and if someone has symptoms and cannot stay at home, then I must use the mask when I have to interact with other people.
For his part, Spain´s Minister of Health, José Miñones, has described today as a “day to remember”, after learning of the decision of the World Health Organisation to declare the end of the health emergency, after more than three years since it started. “This is much-awaited news and one that we receive with joy,” said Miñones, who has had a memory for the people who died from the virus and for his relatives.
The person in charge of Health has evoked the applause of the citizens in recognition of the health personnel during the months of confinement. “The applause from then continues to ring in our collective memory and from this Ministry and from this Government we are going to continue working so that the echo of those palms is the spur to continue strengthening our National Health System, the cornerstone and main defence against episodes like the one we have unfortunately experienced all over the world”, commented José Miñones. In reference to those moments, the Minister of Health has transferred his gratitude and recognition to all health and non-health personnel “without excluding anyone”.
“If we have come this far, it has been thanks to your effort, which still lasts today,” stressed Miñones, referring to the responsible behaviour of citizens. The Minister of Health also had a few words of personal thanks to his predecessors in office, Salvador Illa and Carolina Darias.
José Miñones has recalled that “the end of the health emergency is not the end of the virus”. Thus, the person in charge of Health has asked the public for “prudence” to continue protecting us and has insisted that the Ministry of Health will continue with an active surveillance system.
Masks are still mandatory in certain areas in Spain, such as healthcare settings, including pharmacies.