IF the people of Andalucia obey the current coronavirus restrictions there will be no need to shut down Andalucia over Christmas. 

That was the message of the so-called expert committee (Consejo Asesor de Alertas de Salud Publica de Alto Impacto) today, delivered by spokeswoman Inmaculada Salcedo. 

It comes as the region is set to loosen measures from Friday, including allowing for travel between its eight provinces. 

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EXPERT: Spokeswoman of expert committee does not rule out closing Andalucia’s perimeters over Christmas

“If we continue to abide by the norms, we will most likely see a favourable trend and will not have to close perimeters, but we do not rule out taking that measure,” said Salcedo at a virtual press conference. 

The epidemiologist warned that Andalucia has not yet ‘stabilised’ the virus, with the cumulative incidence rate increasing by one point Wednesday to 140.69 cases per 100,000 people. 

The most populous region detected 1,036 new cases of the virus Wednesday, 558 more than Tuesday and 670 more than the same day last week. 

According to the regional health minister Jesus Aguirre, there were 25 COVID deaths in the past 24 hours, 24 fewer than Tuesday and 12 fewer than the same 24-hour period last week. 

Aguirre told journalists today that the next few weeks ‘are very complicated’ but that he is hopeful there will be no mass transmission of the virus. 

But the evolution of the disease, he added, will decide whether or not ‘to open or close the tap’ when it comes to the loosening of restrictions. 

“We will not fear taking such measures, the priority is to save lives,” he said. 

The region is also prepared to begin vaccinations as soon as it receives the first batch of doses, Aguirre added, which could be at any point between December 23 and January 12. 

The southernmost autonomous community is expected to receive 195,000 vials this month, meaning 97,500 people will get the jab, as it requires two doses per person. 

According to the latest study, only 5.1% of Andalucia has been infected by the virus, meaning ‘there are millions’ that need to be vaccinated, Aguirre said. 

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