FACED with the avalanche of contagions that omicron is causing throughout Spain, some communities, including Andalucia and Madrid, are considering reducing the isolation period in close contacts without symptoms.

Specifically, Andalucia and Madrid want quarantine for close contacts without symptoms to be reduced from ten to five days.

The proposed reduction as well as the reduction in the number of tests being carried out will be presented today at the meeting of the Interterritorial Health Council.

According to the Andalucian Minister of Health, Jesus Aguirre, the omicron variant is more infectious and has higher resistance to vaccines, but is less severe, permitting experts to address this sixth wave in another way.

Following a meeting by the Andalucian Government Council, Aguirre explained that what is being analysed is whether, for example, it is necessary for a close contact without symptoms to keep a quarantine of ten days, if all contacts need to have a PCR or a test, or if the traceability of the cases should be left to those not vaccinated or who have symptoms.

Additionally, as detailed by the Minister of Health, 250,000 tests (PCR and rapid antigen and antibody testing) have been carried out this week alone, which means a million in a month, involving a ‘very large volume of staff’ within the Andalucian Health Service (SAS), so ‘we have to assess whether it has been efficient’.

For his part, the Deputy Minister of Health Assistance and Public Health of the Community of Madrid, Antonio Zapatero, has said: “the management of the pandemic now cannot be the same as that of a year or a few months ago due to the vaccination situation of the population and the clinical and epidemiological characteristics which this variant has.”

The Deputy Minister has indicated that changes are taking place in the international context and has predicted that in the future important changes will take place in the management of the pandemic in Spain as well.

In his opinion, it is necessary to adapt to the changes brought about by the omicron variant, which is beginning to look like ‘an infectious virus from winter times.’

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