28 Oct, 2020 @ 13:24
1 min read

‘No evidence’ that curfews slow spread of COVID-19, says top virologist in Spain

Margarita Del Val

A TOP Spanish virologist has said there is ‘no evidence’ that a curfew is effective in bringing down COVID-19 transmission. 

Margarita del Val, from the Severo Ochoa Molecular Biology Centre, said the restrictive measure is not guaranteed to slow down the spread of the virus. 

Her comments came two days after Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez declared a nationwide state of alarm and curfew from 11pm to 6am (with variations). 

“There is no scientific evidence on whether curfews are effective,” said del Val speaking to La Razon on Tuesday, “As long as you limit the mobility of people and the possibility of them coming into contact with each other, the probability of infections will be limited, but it is not guaranteed and it is not known how effective it will be.” 

Del Val said she was not criticising the curfew measure, just stating there was yet no evidence to support it. 

“I could be effective, but I don’t know what impact it will have,” she added. 

What is more proven is that with the cold comes more cases of the virus, Del Val said, pointing to northern European countries which have seen their curves rise as their winters arrive earlier. 

“This is what we are beginning to see, with a small delay depending on whether the province is more or less cold,” she said.

“We are going to face an autumn surge. I see it because of what is happening in Europe and what happened in Spain in 2009 with the influenza A pandemic, another respiratory virus.”

But Del Val said a devastating surge can be avoided and slowed if we take responsibility. 

That means hygiene, distance, masks, avoiding closed spaces, teleworking when you can and ensuring there are no crowds on public transport. 

Sanchez removed the curfew clause from the state of alarm decree on Tuesday, meaning from November 9, each autonomous region will decide whether or not to keep the measure. 

Congress will vote on the state of alarm on Thursday, with the Government insisting it stay in place for six months but with a review to take place after four.

Laurence Dollimore

Laurence has a BA and MA in International Relations and a Gold Standard diploma in Multi-Media journalism from News Associates in London. He has almost a decade of experience and previously worked as a senior reporter for the Mail Online in London.

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