They detect a new "highly transmissible" variant of Covid in Catalonia

The covid-19, with the onset of autumn and, as a consequence, the low temperatures, is once again a concern in Catalonia. When it seemed that the pandemic from coronavirus was beginning to take a back seat due to the considerable improvement in the data provided by the Department of Healthnow, a new variant of omicron appears.

In addition, according to the first information given by the secretary of Health Public, Carmen Cabezas, this variant would be more transmissible than the previous ones.

The surveillance network has detected a new variant of omicron in wastewater from Catalonia, but no clinical cases, as explained in RAC1 the secretary of Health Public, Carmen Cabezas. It is a variation on the BA.5 called BQ1, which would be more transmissible but without more seriousness.

Despite its presence in wastewater, Cabezas has insisted that no case has yet been detected and that sometimes this does not happen. Regarding the general situation of covid-19, it is "probable" that a new wave will arrive but without healthcare repercussions. Cabezas has highlighted that vaccination rates are higher in Catalonia than in other European countries and there is also immunity due to more recent infections.

The doctor has acknowledged that there is a tendency to increase, but has asserted that the situation is "very maintained" and at low levels. He explained that monthly meetings with other departments are held to monitor the situation and that, in the event that it is decided to lower the pre-alert situation, these meetings should not take place.

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Cabezas explained that summer temperatures are still maintained in Catalonia and that this is also favoring a lower transmission than in other places. However, he said temperatures will continue to drop and there will be more and more activity in closed spaces, which may contribute to further spread.

The objective, however, is to contain this increase "to the maximum" without restrictions and that is why the call for vaccination with the second reminder dose from the age of 60 and for vulnerable people is also insisted on.

To date, 215,449 of these vaccines have been given, especially to people over 80 years of age and in residential settings. In practice, vaccination for the over 60s will start next week.

Regarding the debate of the mask on public transport, the secretary has said that the onset of the cold "is not the best time" to remove it. He has defended that the mask it is only mandatory in very limited environments, public transport and medical environments. "It doesn't cost that much either," he said.

However, he has recognized that the reality in transport such as the metro is very different and has insisted that it is "important" to make use of this element of protection in these contexts.

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