Spain opens debate whether Covid-19 should already be considered endemic, like the flu
Spain is urging Europe to debate the possibility that Covid-19 could now be treated as an endemic disease, creating a model to monitor its flu-like evolution.
"It's a necessary debate because, fortunately, science has given us the answer to be able to defend ourselves," President Pedro Sanchez said yesterday in an interview with Cadena Ser radio station, adding that the virus' mortality has come sat down since the beginning of the pandemic.
"We need to evaluate the evolution of Covid-19 from a pandemic to an endemic disease," he said.
Sanchez's comments come at a time when omicron, the variant that dominates most of Europe, has produced lower rates of hospitalizations and deaths than previous variants, despite an increase in infection rates.
Sanchez said conditions could now exist to assess, "carefully", the evolution of the disease with parameters different from those used so far.
The Spanish government has been working on a new monitoring strategy in recent weeks, and Health Minister Carolina Darias has raised the issue with her European counterparts, Sanchez said.
Spain reported almost 692,000 new cases in the last seven days, while 13.4% of hospital beds are occupied by Covid-19 patients, according to data from the Ministry of Health. This compares with 13.8% a year ago, when the number of weekly cases registered was just over 115,000.