Local Daily News 13th January

From a used wheel to a shoe in Elche

To convert the rubber from tires and shoes that ends up in landfills into a new allied raw material in the world of fashion or construction is the mission pursued by a renowned company from Elche dedicated to the treatment of plastics and polyurethanes, which together with other entities in the field of research have developed a recycling plant in Elche to devulcanize the remains of rubber so that this material returns to being useful.

The project is covered by the European Union, which has financed 1.9 of the almost 2.5 million euros of investment, with which it has been possible to materialize the laboratory study of this system as well as the start-up of the plant , located in the facilities of the Synthelast company, one of the firms located at the entrance to the city by the N-340 in Altabix and that make up the consortium of associated companies to carry out the plan.

Among these entities are some French and Belgian ones (Dymotec and Borflex) in addition to the participation of the CETEC-Murcia Region Technological Center and the Polytechnic University of Cartagena.

This Wednesday the project was presented to make it known among companies in related sectors to explain that it is a viable option to take advantage of this polymer.

The idea is that this pilot plant, of small dimensions, can grow if there is demand for the product, since the production rate is only 30 kilos per hour according to the current infrastructure. Alejandro Arribas, coordinator of the project, which goes by the name Value Rubber, estimates that by July it would be clear who the recipients are to receive this raw material and if the technology can be developed at an industrial level.

“Now we have passed the tests from grams to kilos” waiting for a day to come when it goes from “kilos to tons,” said the specialist.

The idea is that the qualities of the rubber are maintained with a special treatment that combines microwave technology, subjecting the polymer to a temperature close to 180 degrees, as well as the extrusion phase that leaves a devulcanized rubber in the end and in the form of pellets of about four millimeters. The process tries to reverse the composition of the tire waste to obtain a good quality rubber again. This reduces the level of consumption of virgin rubber and reduces contamination levels.

As the experts indicate, this recycled product could serve not only to compose a part of new tires but also for shoe soles, seals for sewage networks, plates, profiles or as a sound insulation system.

Manuel Román, president of Sinthelast, a developer company, explains that this is an opportunity to reduce the levels of tires that end up in the landfill and seek a sustainable way out of those rubber soles that until now could not be reincorporated.

The suspicion of parents and minors infected at Christmas reduces to 65% the children to be vaccinated from 5 to 8 years of age

The mistrust among parents regarding vaccination of the smallest children between 5 and 8 years old, together with the infections that have occurred during the Christmas holidays, which force them to wait four weeks to receive the covid vaccine, reduce to 65% the average of families that have signed the corresponding permit in the second phase of the paediatric campaign in the Community, which starts this Thursday in schools for children from 5 to 8 years old.

In the case of children from 9 to 11 years old, parental permission reached 80% and this time, to try to reach all the families and regardless of possible confinement or absences from class these first days, from the centres of Primary and Infant education they have launched the document for the signing of the permit through the web for families. The response this time has not been so unanimous. The schools consulted agree that just over a third of the parents have not signed the corresponding permit, which will lead to immunizing two out of every three children of these ages in the next two weeks.

The directors of the schools explain that among the third of families that have not signed the vaccination document for their children, most of them are children who have been infected during the holidays and that they must wait four weeks after they tested positive to be vaccinated, as well as a percentage that qualify as residual, among families who show a greater fear of vaccinating their younger children than they show to receive the dose themselves.

The second dose for those who are vaccinated now, including those who are between 9 and 11 years old and did not do so before Christmas, will be inoculated next February.

After the interruption of the paediatric vaccination during the Christmas holidays, the Ministry of Health highlights that a singular boost will be given to the immunization of children, which at the moment place the Community among the most delayed, with 29.7% of immunized children between 5 and 11 years old, only ahead of the Balearic Islands, Ceuta and Melilla, which show respectively 21.1%, 27.7% and 26.8% of infant doses.

The Ministry of Health attributes this delay to the formula of vaccinating in schools, so that the rest of the autonomies have been able to advance in this time, although it is also behind the autonomies that have opted for this same vaccine system in the educational centre, such as La Rioja, which has vaccinated 35.1% of children, or Extremadura, with 35.8%.

From the Government they assure that the infant immunization will take force the next two weeks, as already happened at the beginning of the campaign. There are 68,332 schoolchildren in the province between the ages of 5 and 8 whose parents had to sign the consent so that from today the team of healthcare workers displaced from school to school to give the injection to the children.

Those who are positive for covid can request sick leave through the internet without going to the health centre

The Ministry of Universal health and Public Health is going to set up a web page starting this Friday that will allow people infected with covid-19 to request sick leave without having to go to their health centre to see the family doctor. The measure, announced this Wednesday by the minister Ana Barceló, tries to lighten the workload of the Primary Care centres, collapsed by the avalanche of coronavirus cases that are being registered in this sixth wave and, also, respond to the void that this situation was causing in many companies, with staff reduced by the infection of many of their workers but without being able to process their new employment situation.

Likewise, family doctors may process in the same act the beginning and end of sick leave from work of patients diagnosed with covid, which will be granted together with the diagnosis. Discharge will have a date of seven days from the onset of symptoms and, if symptoms persist, the necessary time will be extended until the complete recovery of the patient. “We are going to speed up the processing of registrations and cancellations to facilitate patients getting them and, in times of significant healthcare burden for professionals, we are also going to reduce the administrative acts that health centres have to carry out,” Explained the councillor after meeting with the president of the Valencian Community Business Confederation (CEV), Salvador Navarro, who explained to the health manager the problems that are occurring in many companies due to the delay in processing sick leave.

From the Ministry of Health, they have explained that the processing of the beginning and end of medical sick leave simultaneously will cover all cases diagnosed by centralized points for obtaining samples from the public network, private laboratories or the tests that will be carried out in the pharmacy offices within the agreement reached with professional associations. Now, those who have taken a self-diagnosis test in their own home, must go to one of these accredited points, including private laboratories or pharmacies, to confirm the positive test before requesting their sick leave in person and online.

In this way, sick leave will be requested through the web by the patient in a link that will be activated from this Friday. Through the sanitary inspection, the withdrawal report will be communicated to the INSS and from there to the companies.

The new measure launched by the Ministry of Health tries to lighten the workload of Primary Care professionals, who cannot cope due to the large avalanche of cases that this sixth wave is causing, mainly due to the speed with which the omicron variant spreads. As an example, it is enough to observe that the province of Alicante once again exceeded this Wednesday, for the second consecutive day, the threshold of 6,000 new daily infections of covid-19. Specifically, 6,335 new cases, which bring to 281,043 people from Alicante who have been infected with the SARS-CoV 2 coronavirus since the pandemic began; while, in the Valencian Community as a whole, the new positives reached a whopping 16,611.

As with infections, the number of hospitalized patients does not stop growing. Specifically, hospitals in the province have 507 beds occupied by covid patients, 23 more than on Tuesday. The positive data, however, is that seriously ill patients fell this Wednesday for the third consecutive day, with two fewer patients in the ICU, which leaves the total at 67. Similarly, the Ministry of Health reported the death of four people in the province with this disease and a total of 17 in the Community as a whole: ten women between 47 and 91 years old and seven men between 52 and 90.

The sixth wave is also fully affecting the Community’s prisons, where there are more than 140 workers and 185 infected prisoners, as well as 600 inmates and 11 workers in quarantine, according to the ACAIP-UGT union. In the case of the province, the Villena prison has 50 workers and 4 infected prisoners, while there are another 110 inmates in quarantine. In Fontcalent there are 15 infected workers and five in quarantine, as well as six affected prisoners. In the Fontcalent Psychiatric Hospital there are 10 workers with covid. The union affirms that the situation in the centres is being stressed by the already deficient staff and demands to speed up vaccination and tests to limit infections, reports Pedro Cerrada.

Callosa plans its first network to collect rainwater and prevent damage from a future DANA

The virulence of the rainfall in the DANA of September 2019 flooded urban and agricultural areas of the Vega Baja, as a result of the flooding of the dry riverbeds originating in the Callosa, Orihuela and Crevillente mountain ranges, especially the Rambla de Abanilla, to which was added a serious deficiency – or non-existence – in the rainwater evacuation networks of most municipalities. To reduce risks in future episodes, the Council provided 16 million euros in direct aid to municipalities for urban drainage systems, of which 758,133 euros correspond to Callosa de Segura. With an execution period until May 2023, its mayor, Manuel Martínez Sirvent, explains that he wants to undertake the works as soon as possible to “have a rainwater network for the first time.” Not surprisingly, this meant that the sanitation network – which is 40 years old – had to bear the burden of evacuating runoff water. The result was its collapse for several days even after the end of the storm, when Callosa recorded a cumulative rainfall of 182.4 mm in 48 hours.

It was then that Rambla Alta / Rambla Baja street acted as a channel, being the main road where the runoff from Rambla de la Plana was concentrated, and from the small channels located on its margins, dragging vehicles, containers and urban furniture, to the lowest points of the urban area. Martínez Sirvent states that to undertake all the necessary works, which would include a storm tank and an irrigation basin, among others, half more of the Generalitat’s budget would be missing.

At the moment, the priority action will be the rainwater collector in Rambla Baja street and the restitution of the Azarbe de Moncada, whose initial section is currently out of service under the road of Almajal street, which will serve as a discharge point. All this with the possibility of an expansion in the future, according to the project.

Last week, the Minister of Public Works, Arcadi España, stated that the Generalitat has already transferred the 16 million euros to the 27 municipalities for a total of 46 actions. He said it in Rafal, who announced the start of the works (400,000 euros): “Today we take another step, because this investment is beginning to materialize.” And he insisted that it is “a firm reality” to “be more prepared” and limit the adverse effects of the floods.

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