Catalonia detects a new variant of covid in wastewater
The surveillance network has detected a new variant of òmicron in wastewater from Catalonia but without any clinical case, as explained to RAC1 by the Secretary of Public Health, Carmen Cabezas.
It is a variation on the BA.5 call BQ1which would be more transmissible but without being more serious. Despite its presence in wastewater, Cabezas has insisted that no case has yet been detected and that sometimes this does not happen. Regarding the general situation of covid-19, he sees "likely" that a new wave will arrive but without impact on care.
And it is that Cabezas has highlighted that vaccination rates are higher in Catalonia than in other European countries and there is also immunity from more recent infections.
The doctor has recognized that there is an increasing trend but has asserted that the situation is "very maintained" and at low levels. She has explained that monthly meetings are held with other departments to monitor the situation and that, in the event that it was decided to lower the pre-alert situation, these meetings would not have to be held.
Cabezas explained that summer temperatures are still maintained in Catalonia and that this is also favoring a lower transmission than in other places. Even so, he has said that temperatures will drop and there will be more and more activity in closed spaces, which can contribute to further spread.
The objective, however, is to contain this increase "to the maximum" without restrictions and for this reason the call for vaccination with the second booster dose is also insisted upon from the age of 60 and for vulnerable people. Until now, 215,449 of these vaccines have been givenespecially to people over 80 years of age and from residential settings. A practical vaccination for those over 60 years will start next week.
As for the discussion of the mask on public transport, The secretary has said that with the arrival of the cold “it is not the most suitable moment” to remove it. She has defended that the mask is only mandatory in very limited environments – public transport and medical environments. "It doesn't cost that much either," she said.
Even so, he has recognized that the reality in transport such as the metro is very different and has insisted that it is "important" to make use of this element of protection in these contexts.