Spain introduces new Covid-19 surveillance system

by Lorraine Williamson
Covid-19 surveillance system

MADRID – Spain is introducing a new Covid-19 surveillance system that will focus on the most serious corona cases and vulnerable groups. Spain is also working to create a monitoring system that will detect changes in the incidence in the population. 

The Spanish Ministry of Health is about to implement a transition scenario for fighting and monitoring the corona pandemic. The new Covid-19 surveillance system should be able to detect an increase in the corona incidence (the number of corona cases per 100,000 inhabitants over the past 14 days) among the population at an early stage and then determine the effectiveness of existing vaccines. 

Two-track policy new surveillance system Covid-19 

Last Thursday, the Ministry of Health agreed with the autonomous community authorities of Spain that the new Covid-19 surveillance system will be limited to only the severe cases and monitor outbreaks that occur in vulnerable environments. This refers to when there is a risk of social exclusion in the event of an outbreak of infection in a particular group or environment. 

Spain will also ensure sufficient capacity to monitor the incidence among the population. This is in order to detect new variants at an early stage. Public Health and the Regional Presidents will work with Carlos III Health Institute to establish epidemiological surveillance for the future. 

Transition phase limited to most vulnerable target groups 

Spanish news site Lasexta.es reports that a working group will soon be set up with the intention of implementing the new system in early 2023. In the meantime, Spain is confining itself to a transition phase where only the most severe corona cases among vulnerable groups are monitored, especially when there is a risk of social exclusion. 

The main lines were agreed upon by the Ministry of Health and the regional presidents of Spain on Thursday. The Spanish news site Ondacero.es wrote that the details are still being filled in. It is not yet clear whether and for how long the isolation of mild and asymptomatic cases will be maintained. 

Spain restricts disclosure of Covid-19 

For now, the Ministry of Health will only provide the epidemiological data two days a week (Tuesday and Friday). The information about the vaccination campaign will in the future only be shared once a week (Friday). 

At the moment, the corona figures in Spain continue to show a downward trend. The incidence continues to decline. However, the decline is stabilising to 430 cases per 100,000 inhabitants (figures as of Thursday, March 10). Officially, the crowds in hospitals in Spain are labeled ‘low risk’; On average, 7.95% of ICU beds are occupied by Covid patients. 

Also read: Spain close to new Covid- 19 strategy without quarantine

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