SPAIN has ruled out a second COVID-19 lockdown similar to the one seen in March earlier this year.

Health Minister Salvador Illa said yesterday that ‘nothing suggests’ the country will return to such a scenario, despite what seems like an alarming rise in case numbers.

Illa told La Vanguardia that while figures are climbing, ‘as of today, it does not threaten the health system.’

According to Illa, a now experienced early detection system and contact tracing is helping control the so-called ‘second wave.’

“We are not in the same situation as March,” the minister said, “more than half of the cases being detected are asymptomatic, the average age is much lower (around 40), cases are generally milder, hospital pressure is around 5% and fortunately, the number of deaths is much lower than in March and April.”

Illa admitted that he was ‘concerned’ by the ongoing crisis and said he will remain so ‘until how to defeat this pandemic is found.’

He encouraged the population to not lower their guard, saying: “We will not be able to live as we did for months to come, even in the best case scenario.”

When asked about new restrictions, Illa said people need to comply with the current ones.

“If we manage to follow them properly, we won’t have to take additional measures,” he said.

The health leader also remained optimistic about the development of a vaccine.

“If I had to make a forecast today, with the data I have, I would say that in December we could start vaccinating the groups that need it most.”

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