Thursday 8th April 2021 | Compiled by MIKE SMITH
The president of the Generalitat Valenciana, Ximo Puig, has announced that current restrictions, including the night curfew, the closure of the perimeter borders of the region, and the opening restrictions for the hospitality and commercial sectors will be extended until April 25th. However, he assured the people of Valencian that “the worst of the coronavirus pandemic has passed“.
But the good news is that limits on social gatherings will be eased from next week with a maximum of two groups of people who don’t live together being able to meet in private spaces, and up to six people who don’t live together being able to meet in public spaces and play sport. The latter also applies to bars and restaurants, so up to six people can sit together at a table or group of tables. The restrictions change on April 13th.
The president explained that the rate of hospital admissions and the IA rate (the measure of the effective spread of the virus) have both halved in the three weeks since the current restrictive measures were introduced across the Comunidad Valenciana. In addition, deaths have also reduced to a third of those experienced in the three weeks before the restrictions were imposed. The region currently has the lowest IA rate in Spain, with only 31 infections per 100,000 inhabitants. In addition, no other country in the European Union has an IA rate lower than the Comunidad Valenciana. In fact, the current situation is on par with that of last summer.
However, he warned that a possible resurgence in cases could occur in the next few weeks after confirming that analysis of wastewater had detected “a certain increase” in coronavirus readings in the past few days, but adding that “there has been a lot of internal movement [during the Easter period] so it can’t be confirmed that it is in one place or another, only that there are indicators that suggest an increase in the virus is possible. This is why we are so prudent“.
He explained that the further relaxation of restrictions is possible on April 25th, although this would be decided by an interdepartmental meeting on April 22nd and if the consolidation of the data continues to improve. In addition, he confirmed that, although the national state of alarm is due to end on May 9th, the country cannot lower its guard and that autonomous communities will still be able to approve restrictions that don’t directly affect constitutional rights (which are linked to the state of alarm) and only on approval from the Valencian High Court.
With regards to vaccines, Puig admitted that the region needs more of them. “We need more vaccines, because only universal vaccination will make it possible to overcome the pandemic,” adding that he promised to explore all possibilities to be able to accelerate the process.
Health minister Ana Barceló also confirmed that all vaccines that arrive at the moment will be administered to those in the 60 and 70 year old groups; it is not yet know when vaccination will start for those people under the age of 60 since it is a decision of the Spanish Government. It was also confirmed that the Generalitat Valenciana will no longer call people under 60 to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine after administration of this brand of vaccine for this age group was cancelled on Wednesday.
Press Conference (Generalitat Valenciana)