The Council of Ministers approved this Tuesday to increase restrictions on entry to Spain by air from Brazil and South Africa due to the detected variants of coronavirus. The Minister Spokesperson, María Jesús Montero, reported at a press conference that the measure comes into effect at 9:00 this Wednesday and will be in effect until February 17, although it may be extended depending on the evolution of the pandemic.
During this period, only flights occupied by Spanish or Andorran citizens or residents of these two countries, or by passengers in international transit to a country outside the Schengen area who are going to make a stopover of less than 24 hours, may arrive in Spain, without leaving the area. airport transit.
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Montero explained that the measures are part of “the Government’s decisive action to protect the health of citizens and contain the progression of the disease,” in line with the recommendations of the European Union.
This Monday, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, EU and Cooperation, Arancha González Laya, had already announced that the Government was studying the adoption of measures to prevent the arrival of the new strains detected in other countries. As indicated, the objective is “to avoid the contagion of those strains that travel faster, that are transmitted faster and that make this pandemic grow exponentially.”
When the first cases of the South African variant were discoveredin the UK in late December, UK Health Minister Matt Hancock said it was “very worrying, because its transmissibility is even higher and it has mutated more rapidly than the newly discovered UK variety.”
“Both the UK and South African variants show genetic changes in the spicule (the protein that envelops the virus, named for its spiky profile, which is key to adherence to the human cell) that suggest they are more infectious.
But the standard norms to avoid contagion (cleaning of hands, use of a mask and social distance) should be enough to stop the transmission ”, explained Lawrence Young, professor of Molecular Oncology at Warwick Medical School, to the scientific information website SMC .
The Brazilian variant also worries the health authorities. In mid-January, Japan identified a new strain of the virus in travelers from the State of Amazonas, where the situation is increasingly serious: with the advance of covid-19, the city of Manaus suffers an oxygen supply crisis to hospitals .
At the moment, scientists still cannot say to what extent the new variant of the coronavirus that has been detected in Manaus is responsible for the second collapse of the health system in the State of Amazonas, although there is a great possibility that this has had an influence.