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The new phase against COVID in Spain, called ‘Surveillance and Control Strategy against COVID-19 after the acute phase of the pandemic’, which was approved last Tuesday by the autonomous communities and the Ministry of Health within the the Public Health Commission, enters into force today, Monday, March 28.   Health and Autonomous Communities have already offered the first details on what this transitory surveillance system against COVID-19 would look like at the National Health System (SNS) Conference on Public Health Surveillance, which brought together the Minister of Health, Carolina, two weeks ago. Darias, and to the Health Councilors of the CCAA and autonomous cities in Zaragoza (Aragón).   Public Health justifies that the changes they have agreed to for this new phase against COVID in Spain are based on the fact that “the high levels of immunity achieved in the Spanish population have determined a change in the epidemiology of COVID-19 that supports the transition towards a different strategy that monitors and directs actions to people and areas of greater vulnerability and monitors serious cases of COVID-19, and in vulnerable areas and people.   Surveillance in this transition phase will give way to a consolidated surveillance system for acute respiratory infections that should form part of the sentinel surveillance systems for acute respiratory diseases (ARIs). In any case, this transitional phase will only be maintained as long as the indicators for the use of care services “are at a low level”, according to Health.  

fundamental changes

  As the main variation, the indication for carrying out diagnostic tests has been modified , which will now focus on people with vulnerability factors (over 60 years of age, immunosuppressed and pregnant), vulnerable areas (health and socio-health) and severe cases. Thus, the diagnosis of patients with mild symptoms compatible with COVID-19 “will be made according to the needs of its clinical management.”   In relation to the control of COVID-19 in the general population, the new phase against COVID in Spain contemplates that mild and asymptomatic confirmed cases will not be isolated and close contacts will not be quarantined. In this sense, recommendations will be issued aimed at preventive measures such as the use of a mask in all areas and avoiding contact with vulnerable people.   In vulnerable areas, such as healthcare or socio-health centers, “specific isolation and control measures may be implemented”, although Health does not give more details in this regard.    
    Likewise, the extraordinary surveillance and control structures put in place during the pandemic “will remain operational to monitor key indicators that allow early detection of changes in the situation that may require the re-implementation of control measures” in this new phase against COVID in Spain.   “This strategy will remain in force as long as there is no significant change in the trend that indicates an uncontrolled circulation of SARS-CoV-2 or a change in the epidemiological situation that requires reestablishing surveillance and control measures as proposed by the Conference of Alerts and Preparedness and Response Plans”, explained the Ministry.