The Valencian Society of Preventive Medicine and Public Health (SVMPSP) has once again demanded measures from the regional government to reduce social contacts in closed environments to control the sixth wave of Covid cases that has generated an “unprecedented” incidence of cases for not having applied them in Christmas.

Among the demands put forward are capacity restrictions for large events, massive family gatherings, controlled attendance at closed entertainment venues and time limitations on nightlife.

In this sense, they warn that “leaving the circulation of the virus to its free expansion without putting preventive measures in place, hoping that the entire population becomes immunised naturally, goes against the principles of Public Health Medicine.”

For this reason, they call on the Health Administration to intensify in this second half of January the three main Covid mitigation strategies that have given good results: such as, in addition to these contact control measures, the dissemination of clear educational messages so that the population is adequately protected and intensive and accelerated vaccination of the entire population and risk groups.

In this regard, they recall that on 24 December they already showed their “total disagreement” with the absence of preventive measures and the result is an “unprecedented incidence, a very worrying increase in hospitalisation and an overflow of health services, against the that health unions and professional associations have already warned”.

In this sense, they point out that the almost complete substitution produced in recent days of the Delta variant by the Omicron variant, supposes, in addition to greater contagiousness and the presence of outbreaks in this 6th epidemic wave, it causes a higher rate of reinfections and an increase of infections in vaccinated, or situations of “vaccine escape”.

Thus, they point out that although it does not produce a greater severity of cases and the vast majority of vaccinated continue to be protected from severe forms of Covid, it causes “such an incidence of mild cases, which seriously affects social coexistence, the economy and health resources”. In addition, they warn that the number of really serious cases – hospitalised, deceased and persistent Covid – “can be enormous if millions of people are infected at the same time in a few weeks.”

In this regard, they argue that if it were “inevitable” that a large part of the European population becomes infected in the coming months, this contagion should be “at least progressive for months, not in the form of explosive and uncontrolled epidemic waves.”

In fact, they recall that the five previous epidemic waves have responded “well” to the taking of community preventive measures, which has reduced its maximum peak and has allowed an early return, in two or three weeks, to the incidence to “acceptable” values”.

On the contrary, they warn that a prolongation of the sixth pandemic wave for months would mean a disproportionate absenteeism of mild cases, enormous damage to the health of the population due to hospitalised cases, deaths and the sequelae of persistent Covid and, finally, a saturation of primary and hospital care, that health professionals “can’t take anymore”.

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