This Wednesday the meeting of the Interterritorial Health Council took place, following the usual trend of each week, and later the Minister of Health, Carolina Darias, held a press conference to explain what was debated between the autonomies and the central executive.
The head of the ministry has highlighted that 13.7% of hospital beds are occupied by patients with COVID and reaches 23.7% in the case of ICUs, after knowing the data this Wednesday.
In addition, he has pointed out that “the evident overload of the healthcare systems” has been produced by the high number of cases, which already means the maximum of the entire pandemic, although with a notable difference, and that is that the occupation figures still “do not they exceed what was observed in the third wave despite having incidents three times higher than that time. The growth rate of this epidemic wave has slowed down in the last week. “
On the other hand, he has not ruled on whether he should consider COVID as a flu, but he has predicted changes for the future: “Everything indicates that we are in a new phase of this pandemic. We started with an epidemic in Wuhan, he continued. a global pandemic, a syndemic continued and, everything points to the fact that over time we will go to an endemic. The point is to see how we make that transition, which is going to be complex. We have to go from an emergency surveillance to one that is sustained. “
Regarding how this new scenario will be, he has not provided too many details: “We have to go hand in hand, first of all with the expert voices, such as the presentation of alerts, but also jointly among those who make up the health system, without forget that it must also be at an international level, calmly, but moving towards new scenarios. Everything indicates that we are in a new phase“.
In relation to the controversial price of the self-diagnostic tests sold in pharmacies, the minister has not wanted to advance what range is being considered Inter-ministerial commission to regulate the price of the tests that will be held this Thursday and will set maximum prices: “There are 40 different types now, Before November it was only 22, thanks to the efforts of the EMA. The intention is that the price is as affordable as possible. “
Finally, in relation to the acquisition of the drug against COVID, called paxlovid, Darias pointed out: “It is under evaluation by the European Medicines Agency, but the EMA has already issued favorable reports. It is a tremendously effective drug in certain cases and has shown a reduction of around 80% of the risk of hospitalization” .