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Economy

The bad omens predicted for Spain by the IMF after COVID-19

Madrid / The coronavirus health crisis in Spain, which maintains its downward curve despite the fact that there are already more than 18,000 deaths, will lead to an economic crisis that the IMF has put a very hard face on in its forecasts today: an 8 percent drop in GDP and six more points of unemployment to reach 20.8 percent, although it is expected to be a relatively short crisis.

Predictions from the IMF, which has warned that COVID-19 will lead the world into a recession like that of 1930, point to a rapid partial recovery in 2021, estimating that the Spanish economy will grow 4.3% that year and the Unemployment will drop to 17.5%.

With this background economic scenario, the Government is looking for a great pact that wants to start negotiating this week with a meeting between Pedro Sánchez and the PP leader, Pablo Casado, and that seems very far from the start.

The epidemic continues its course and when a month of the alarm state is over, Health has taken control of private laboratories so that the autonomies can make tests faster and regulate their prices, as published by the BOE this Tuesday, in the deaths have increased slightly (50 more than yesterday), but infections have decreased (1.8%), despite being a day that accuses delayed notifications for the weekend.

Dead and contagious

Deaths as a result of the virus are already 18,056, after adding 567 more today, with a growth percentage similar to that of Monday, but 13 percent lower than that of Tuesday of last week, which is beginning to be noticed in places like the Community of Madrid, which has decided to close the provisional morgue opened at the Majadahonda Ice Palace.

The director of the Center for the Coordination of Health Alerts and Emergencies, Fernando Simón, who has rejoined after recovering from the coronavirus, has once again asked for caution regarding the data for the continued holidays of Easter and has pointed out that, despite the fact that the number of deaths maintains its downward trend, “they are still figures that we have to reduce as soon as possible.”

Contagions have dropped to 3,045 (they already total 172,541), contrary to what happened on previous Tuesdays, which places the growth rate for the first time below 2 percent, specifically 1.8 percent.

The fact that Simon expects in the coming days is that there will be more cured than infected, which has not happened today as the highs of previous days stopped in 2,777 to reach a total of 67,504, 40 percent of those infected. Of these infected, 26,672 are health personnel, among whom thirty deaths have already been registered, 23 of them from doctors, 14 from primary care.

Private diagnostic centers

The tests are one of the key elements in the fight against the epidemic, as has been seen in China and other Asian countries that have managed to control it and as the WHO remembers daily, but in Spain they are still a pending issue, especially due to its scarcity, but also due to the difficulties in carrying them out.

In this context, Health has issued an order, which is published this Tuesday in the BOE, which makes available to the autonomous communities any privately owned clinical diagnosis center that is not providing services to the National Health System, with the possibility of taking measures to control the tests and regulate their price.

The order, which in fact prevents a la carte tests, establishes that the tests must be prescribed by a doctor “in accordance with the guidelines, instructions and criteria agreed to that effect by the competent health authority”, as the later stated Health Minister Salvador Illa, who has stressed that the decision has been made at the request of some autonomous communities that wanted this matter to be “clarified”.

In diagnostic tests, the strategy to go to the so-called “de-escalation” phase resides to a large extent, which will allow the confinement to be gradually abandoned, because these tests – which in Spain will initially be done through a large sampling with more than 62,000 people – those who let us know if there is community transmission and put in place strategies to detect cases and isolate their contacts.

De-escalation, crisis and pacts

For this phase, which some experts believe could be launched in early May, the development of plans has already begun, such as the one prepared by the Ministry of Health and the Spanish Association of Pediatrics (AEP) to give priority to minors in the staggered exit to the street, as Italy did at the beginning of the month, to alleviate the problems that confinement causes to minors, as requested by several regional presidents.

In the de-escalation or transition phase, a government team is already working to try to establish, with the support of various experts, possible scenarios, rhythms and territorial strategies, as are already being implemented in China and other Asian countries, and soon they will start in countries like Austria or Sweden.

The magnitude of the health crisis has been put on the table today by the IMF with forecasts for Spain (8% drop in GDP and unemployment of 20.8%) that announce a complicated horizon, beyond that they are only forecasts and There are still no great coincidences between those who think that it will be a quick exit from the crisis in the form of V or other slower ones in the form of U or W.

To face this crisis, the Government is betting on a great political pact that would have to begin forging itself this week, in which the meetings are scheduled to begin with a meeting between the chief executive, Pedro Sánchez, and the PP leader, Pablo Casado, in which the starting positions pose a path full of obstacles. (April 14, 2020, EFE / PracticaEspañol)

(Automatic translation)

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