Local Daily News 11th November

A probiotic developed in Alicante accelerates the recovery of patients with covid

Fewer days with symptoms and, therefore, a faster recovery. The Alicante startup Bioithas, located in the science park of the University of Alicante, has developed a probiotic capable of shortening the time that coronavirus patients have digestive symptoms, such as diarrhea, abdominal pain or irritable bowel.

Probiotics are foods or supplements that contain live microorganisms intended to maintain the intestinal microbiota, which is mainly composed of a set of bacteria that live in the intestine and that are important for the health of our body. The microbiota is related to the immune system of people, hence the researchers who have developed this probiotic proposed as a starting hypothesis “that by helping to maintain the intestinal microbiota, the virus would be eliminated faster”, explains Vicente Navarro from Bioithas.

To demonstrate this hypothesis, in the summer of 2020 he started a study that included 45 patients with covid in the province who were experiencing the disease at their homes under the watch of the Home Hospitalization Units. One group of these patients was being given the probiotic for a month and another group was not. After 30 days, “we observed that in the group of patients who took the product the symptoms had disappeared in all the patients except one”. The differences were notable with respect to the other group of patients, “since half of them still had digestive symptoms one month later.” Navarro recalls that “it has been proven that the virus is shed in the feces, even up to more than three weeks after the patient has been infected.” This study has shown that patients who take this probiotic test negative earlier than those who do not, “which would translate into an acceleration of recovery and, consequently, in a faster release of hospital beds,” points out Navarro, specialist in infectious diseases and head of this service at the Vinalopó Hospital in Elche.

The Alicante company is also developing another clinical trial against covid. In this case, a different drug is being tested. Gamma globulin is administered into a vein, a product that is used to treat other ailments, such as Kawasaki disease, which causes inflammation of blood vessels throughout the body. In this case, they want to see if the treatment reduces mortality in the case of covid. The study, approved by the Spanish Medicines Agency, is being carried out with the coordination of Bioithas, and with the collaboration of the Catholic University of Murcia and the hospitals of the Ribera Salud group.

Bioithas was one of the first companies in the world to register a study in the American database of clinical trials to use a probiotic-based supplement in order to reduce the symptoms and signs produced by the disease.

Founded in 2015, Bioithas is dedicated to conducting clinical studies with nutritional components, probiotics and prebiotics, as well as symbiotics and antibiotics and hydrolyzed peptides, on inflammatory diseases. His research activity is directed both to the field of Neurology in degenerative and inflammatory pathologies, as well as infectious diseases of high prevalence, intestinal inflammation, rheumatology, nutrition and dietetics, dermatology and gynecology.

The Government commits to the Community and Murcia being linked by AVE in 2023

The Minister of Transport, Raquel Sánchez, pledged – before the president of the Consell, Ximo Puig, and the more than a thousand businessmen in Madrid who demanded speed in the Mediterranean Corridor – that in 2022 1,700 million euros will be invested in the different projects and she assured that in 2026 the entire section between Almería and the border with France will be complete. Sánchez stressed that in the last three years works worth 3,000 million have been tendered and two billion euros executed. The minister assures that by 2023 the three provinces of the Valencian Community will be connected with standard-gauge railway (high speed) between them and also with Murcia. Sánchez did not go into details, however, about a project that is still untouched, the link between Alicante and Elche with the airport.

More than 1,300 businessmen from all over Spain – among them Antonio Arias (Vectalia), Adolfo Utor (Balearia), Toni Mayor (Hosbec), Esther Guilabert (IFA), Pedro López (Chocolates Valor) and Asunción Martínez (Suez Group) – denounced in a ceremony held at the Ifema conference center in Madrid, the delay suffered by the execution of the Mediterranean Corridor, an infrastructure to transform the railway axis into a standard-gauge railway, which allows the movement of passengers (tourism) and merchandise quickly, safely and in a sustainable manner, since 67% of Spanish exports are generated between Algeciras and Barcelona, ​​according to Vicente Boluda, president of the Asociación Valenciana de Empresarios (AVE). A good part of these goods, especially fruit and vegetables, are produced in the Valencian Community, Murcia and Andalusia. Boluda also recalled that 50% of the Spanish population resides on the axis, welcomes 50% of tourism and generates 45% of the state GDP, hence “this project is important for all of Spain, not only for the autonomies of the Mediterranean”. Boluda welcomed the new Minister of Transport, Raquel Sánchez, former mayor of Gavá, to whom he asked for speed and commitment to the projects.

Vicente Boluda, flanked by his entire board of directors, and among them Juan Roig, president of Mercadona and pioneer of the lobby, denounces that “this corridor should have been completed ten years ago and the economic losses and cost overruns we are having are incalculable, but in the millions. Everything is going very slow, the date of 2025 with the end of the works is more than difficult and what we ask the Government is speed and that what is budgeted, is executed. Boluda also demanded speed in the València tunnel, because it will benefit all goods, and right now it is the biggest bottleneck in the corridor, because the Serrería tunnel is collapsed. The delay is such that not even the Barcelona superport has yet completed high-speed access. In the check carried out of the situation, the technicians have denounced the collapse suffered by the Murcia-Almería section, where the machines were even removed. And to top it all, the Almería-Málaga line, a scandal because the deadline for its completion is in 2030 and in that area there are trains that circulate at 30 km/hour.

The act has served to denounce the more than 25 years of delays accumulated in the construction of the Mediterranean Corridor, which is why the #QuieroCorredor Movement was born, a platform promoted by the Valencian Association of Entrepreneurs  that claims the need for this infrastructure, today more necessary than ever.

Boluda denounced that “we have been claiming the necessary infrastructure for Andalusia, Murcia, the Valencian Community and Catalonia for five years, but also for Spain and Europe. We are celebrating our anniversary, but, unfortunately, there is very little to celebrate. The state of the works is far from finished and, in too many cases, from beginning. And this is a disaster for Spain”.

The Ministry of Health manages to get young people and foreigners vaccinated at the open point for the Benidorm Fiestas

Young people and foreigners who reside most of the year in Benidorm and who, for one reason or another, had not yet been vaccinated are the people who yesterday took the majority of the first doses that have been administered at the special vaccination point that the Ministry of Health has set up during the the Major Patron Saint Festivities of Benidorm. The center came into operation this Wednesday and has been located on the ground floor of the L’Hort de Colón museum, in the heart of the city, where the Department of Health has transferred a vaccination team that will be operational between 11 in the morning and five in the afternoon.

During that time, the health workers will attend any citizen over 12 years of age who comes without an appointment and wants to be vaccinated with the first or second dose against covid-19, whether or not they are residents of the region and regardless of whether they have a health card in our Community. “The important thing is to be able to vaccinate as many people as possible,” explained the department manager, Rosa Louis Cereceda, who also emphasized that, in addition to those who initially rejected the appointment to be vaccinated and have now changed their minds, in Benidorm and the Marina Baixa also “there is a very important population center that spends a good part of the year here but is not registered and to which we now want to reach”.

In total, the health workers administered three vials of the vaccine against the new coronavirus; In other words, 18 vaccines. However, sources from the department explained that, almost in all probability, the demand will grow in the coming days, once people know that this special point is working and when the Patron Saint Festivities begin, whose program of events starts this Saturday.

The vaccination point will be in l’Hort de Colón until next Monday. As of Tuesday, the point will be installed in the Rincón de Loix municipal tourism office, where the recruitment of people to vaccinate will be especially focused on British people, taking advantage of the high influx of people of this nationality who are expected to come to the city on the occasion of the “Fancy Dress Party”, the party that is organized in venues in the “English area” on Thursday, the day after the end of the Patron Saint Festivities.

From the Department of Health they explained that the percentage of vaccination among the population registered in the Marina Baixa is very high and is around 90%. However, the high percentage of floating population also stands out due to the weight of tourism and second homes. Likewise, they indicated that at this point third doses will not be given, a process that is being carried out in health centers and that does require a prior appointment.

Benidorm will have police reinforcements to avoid large public drinking parties and crowds during the Fiestas

A special group has been formed by Local and National Police and personnel from other services and emergency bodies, to ensure that large public drinking parties or big crowds of people do not occur during the Major Patron Festivities and the “Fancy Dress Party”, two events that will be held in the next few days in Benidorm and which, almost certainly, will attract thousands of people to the city. The Benidorm City Council hosted a meeting this Wednesday of the Local Security Board to design the special operations that will be organized on the occasion of these two events, which start this Saturday, the 13th, and will last until Thursday, the 18th of November.

The meeting was attended by the heads and managers of the National and Local Police, the Civil Guard and adjunct technicians, as well as the Councilor for Citizen Security, Lorenzo Martínez; the spokesmen of the three groups of the municipal corporation; and Mayor Toni Pérez, who co-chaired the meeting together with the Government Subdelegate in Alicante, Araceli Poblador, who also participated, although virtually.

Municipal sources have explained that during this Security Board, the measures and protocols designed “to attend to the emergency situation due to the pandemic” and to be able to combine health measures “for the programming of the holidays along with the added event on Thursday, the Fancy Dress Party”, which brings together thousands of British people to Benidorm to participate in it every year.

The Councilor for Security indicates that from his department they consider that the acts provided for in the program “will not cause great problems” in terms of crowding, mainly due to the changes that have been planned in the itineraries or their location. For example, it should be remembered that the major masses on Sunday and Monday will take place in the Plaza de SS MM Los Reyes de España; or that the offering and the processions will run along new routes, through wider avenues, so that it is easier to maintain safe distances.

Likewise, with regard to concerts and other performances planned in the Julio Iglesias de l’Aigüera auditorium, attendees must present the vaccination passport to access the venue and there will be private security personnel to control access and capacity to it.

Despite all the above, Martínez acknowledged that among the things that worry the most now is knowing what the audiences and neighbors will do, especially the younger people, at night, particularly on Friday and Saturday. As this newspaper advanced weeks ago, the City Council has decided this year not to authorize the opening of clubs, which will allow the public to disperse to other areas of the city and not remain congregated in the “almond” of Calvari, as usually happens during the big days. Hence, the Local Police will be “very vigilant, especially due to the fear that a public drinking party of 200 or 300 people could congregate” and it is planned that there will be special surveillance in areas such as the beaches, the Castle, the Port or the vicinity of the parks, where the youngest could meet up. “From what we know so far, there is nothing to indicate that a massive public drinking party can occur, but we will continue to be very aware,” added the councilor.

Meanwhile, with regard to the British community party, Lorenzo Martínez indicated that the data on reservations, flights and contracts handled by the town hall and Visit Benidorm also indicate that this year there will be “much less influx of people”, far from the more than 30,000 people who came to congregate in previous editions, although the participants will almost certainly also reach the thousands.

For this reason, from the consistory all the vehicles parked on Gerona and adjacent streets will be removed for that day, in order to generate more spaces and that there may be distances and other anti covid measures. In addition, there will be police reinforcements throughout the area and other measures to ensure that the event is safe.

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