Spanish leader Pedro Sanchez has insisted it is time to start treating COVID-19 as an “endemic disease” like the flu.
“It simply came to our notice then. Science has given us the answer to protect ourselves, “the 49-year-old prime minister told radio station Cadena Ser on Monday, according to Bloomberg.
Sanchez cited the declining death rate amid rising infections as evidence that the threat “is not what we faced a year ago.”
He argued that it is time to stop detecting any infection and test everyone with symptoms, and instead start monitoring it more as a less deadly flu-like endemic disease.
“We need to evaluate the evolution of COVID from a pandemic to an endemic disease,” he said.
Health Minister Carolina Darias has discussed the proposal with some of her colleagues in the EU, Sánchez said without elaborating.
However, the World Health Organization’s Senior Emergency Response Officer for Europe, Catherine Smallwood, warned that the time for such a shift is still “a way away.”
“We still have a huge amount of uncertainty and a virus that is developing quite rapidly, which imposes new challenges. We are certainly not at the point where we are able to call it endemic,” Smallwood said.
“It may become endemic over time, but determining it for 2022 is a little difficult at the moment.”
With Post wires