The lehendakari, Iñigo Urkullu, wanted to announce this Friday in the control session to the Government held by the Basque Parliament through a question prepared with the PNV itself, his party, that the crisis table convened for next Tuesday will address and decree the end of the health emergency in Euskadi if the downward trend that has been maintained in recent weeks continues in the coming days. “We can be at the beginning of a new stage,” Urkullu assured, thus confirming the information provided by this newspaper two weeks ago. In his speech, he confirmed that his advisory committee has already proposed a return to as normal as possible in the short term. In any case, Urkullu has appealed to prudence due to the previous experience of June, in which he also announced the end of the health emergency and a sharp change in trend took place that led to the great wave of July.
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Urkullu has highlighted that the incidence rate is already less than 80 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in 14 days, ten times less than in the last peak of the pandemic, that in the ICU there are half of critical patients with COVID-19 than in mid-August and that 88.5% of the vaccinable population (older than 12 years without contraindications) already have the complete regimen, either with one, two or three doses. The goal is for the incidence to drop below 60, something that could be feasible on Tuesday if the current trend continues.
Without many details, Urkullu has ensured that “level 1” measures of the pandemic management plan, called Bizi Berri, would be maintained and that its fourth review is now in force. According to this document, time limitations in leisure, catering and other activities could be deactivated, everything that may be closed could be reopened and it could reach 100% in sporting events. This plan also allows a softer de-escalation, although the recent precedent for Navarra has been to end all measures except those that depend on the basic regulations of the Ministry of Health. The end of the health emergency would not imply in any case the end of the use of masks, which are mandatory indoors and also outdoors if there are no distances.
The lehendakari has spoken of going from a pandemic phase to an endemic one, with COVID-19 as one more disease, such as the flu or other respiratory infections. Of course, he has warned that it is a global phenomenon and that as long as the transmission is not cut off worldwide, risks remain, such as the appearance of new variants. He explained that permanent epidemiological surveillance will be maintained.
The current health emergency was decreed in mid-August 2020, less than two months after the end of the first state of alarm, that of confinement. Since then in Euskadi there have been five waves. The first took place that same summer, the second came in the fall, the third and fourth followed Christmas and Easter, and the last was the summer. With the first, there have been six peaks of the pandemic in Euskadi and not five, as in other places. In this time, with the Labi as the protagonist, the measures have been hardening and relaxing, although always with a minimum of restrictions.
In our interactive specials, you can consult all the data on the evolution of the pandemic in Euskadi, Over the positive and deceased in each and every one of the residences in Álava, Bizkaia and Gipuzkoa and the advance day to day of the vaccination campaign. We also have maps with the most prominent shoots.