Covid-19 cases in Catalonia begin to peak
Health minister: restrictions would only be considered with three times as many ICU patients
The seventh wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in Catalonia is beginning to peak, Catalan health minister Josep Maria Argimon said on Monday morning in an interview with Catalunya Ràdio.
Health authorities, he explained, believe the number of new daily Covid cases will plateau for a few days before it begins to drop.
No new restrictions
But despite the prevalence of Covid, Argimon does not think restrictions are necessary and insisted that going about life with the virus around us "should be normalized."
According to him, these would only be considered if there were 150 or more Covid patients in ICUs across Catalonia – currently, there are only 51.
Automatic 5-day leave
As for automatic 5-day sick leave permits for people with Covid symptoms, which can be requested on the La Meva Salut website, Argimon said 4,800 people had requested them in the past week since the system was put in place.
The minister said the Catalan health system had not noticed a notable uptick in leave requests as Covid-symptom ones only account for 15% of all permits.
Not enough medical professionals
Argimon also referred to a recent Ara newspaper article that revealed that around half of all new medical professionals are from abroad and exposed the insufficient availability of nursing school programs in Catalonia to meet the demand.
"Nothing has been done about it for the past 12 years," he said, noting that importing doctors exacerbates the brain drain in their countries of origin.
This, Argimon said, is "a problem" that will not be reverted until its "root causes" are addressed.