Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said Monday he plans to ask European officials to consider treating COVID-19 more like an endemic disease – a minor illness that regularly occurs like the flu – and abandon the detailed tracking system required during the pandemic.
In an interview with Spain’s Cadena SER radio, Sanchez said deaths as a proportion of recorded cases had fallen dramatically since the start of the pandemic. He believes the pandemic has reached a point where the evolution of the disease can be “evaluated with different parameters.”
Sanchez said it would be a gradual and careful process but said it was time to open the debate “at a technical and health professional level, but also at a European level.”
He also confirmed the report of the country’s leading daily, El País, that Spanish health authorities have designed a new monitoring system in which any new infections do not need to be recorded, and that people with symptoms who do not need to be tested but will continue to be checked and treated.
America’s National Institutes of Health says viruses, such as those that cause COVID-19, are transitioning from a pandemic to an endemic phase when they are not extinct but prevalence and severity have fallen over an extended period of time. [ka/lt]