Curfew could last 4 weeks as Catalonia reports new record daily Covid-19 infections
Health minister admits holding mass summer festivals was a 'mistake' because it sent wrong message
Catalonia has reported yet another record all-time high number of daily Covid-19 infections.
The latest official figures published on Friday indicate that there were 8,880 cases diagnosed on Thursday with PCR and antigen tests. July 12 was the previous peak, with 8,423 infections.
Last week was topped the rankings in terms of case numbers, with around 50,000. This week there have already been 33,625 from Monday to Thursday.
New major restrictions are in force in order to put an end to the fifth wave of the pandemic, with a curfew beginning on Saturday at 1 am in 161 municipalities.
The measure from 1 am to 6 am will be in place until July 23.
Yet, on Thursday, government spokesperson Patrícia Plaja stated that while the measure will have to be reviewed on a week-by-week basis, it will likely be needed for at least three weeks until the public health situation improves.
But on Friday, health minister Josep Maria Argimon suggested that the restriction could be in place for four weeks, although the judiciary will have to greenlight it every week. In an interview with Catalunya Ràdio, he said that the cabinet intends to apply it for the least amount of time necessary.
If the Catalan high court revokes it down the line, the other restrictions will still be in place and the government will determine whether any other measure may be needed.
Argimon also admitted that holding large summer music festivals with thousands of attendees was a "mistake" because it sent the wrong message, leading some to think that the pandemic was over.
"I also contributed to this," he said. Cruïlla, Canet Rock, and Vida festivals recently attracted thousands of concert-goers.
Argimon said that a certain "slowing down" of transmissions among young people has been detected, but also stated that the virus "will remain" and that the Delta variant "will not be the last one."