Local Daily News 1st September
Puig announces a de-escalation starting next Monday that will last a month
The Valencian Community will begin to relax the covid restrictions that are currently in force next Monday, the 6th of September, when the limitations on capacity and the closure of nightlife that are still in force expire. It is the announcement that the president of the Generalitat, Ximo Puig, made yesterday in an interview on Onda Cero. In it, he assured that the de-escalation will begin next Monday and that it will last for a month, with the aim that the holiday of the 9th of October can be celebrated within a situation of “new normality.”
According to the deadlines set by Puig, on the same Monday there will be a meeting of the Interdepartmental Commission “in which we will decide how the de-escalation starts, if everything goes as it has up to now, until the 9th of October”. The process of opening and easing restrictions is therefore just around the corner thanks, according to Puig, to the good epidemiological situation and the “very positive impact of the best asset we have, which is vaccination” that already reaches 76% of the population over 12 years of age.
The great objective, he insisted, is that for the festival of the 9th of October, the Valencian Community “can already be an immunized community.” All this as long as the festivities of these unusual Fallas 2021 are not also cancelled. “Now the accumulated incidence is below 200 cases for the first time since July,” said Puig, although in the province of Alicante it is notably higher, at 264. Likewise, in the 68 municipalities that now have more severe restrictions such as touch of curfew, 27 of them from Alicante, the president assured that the epidemiological services of the Generalitat are now “studying all the data” and the “seven parameters” that serve as the basis for defining whether such restrictive measures should be imposed. “We will do what the experts tell us.”
Yesterday, The Ministry of Health reported 235 new cases of coronavirus in the province. Alicante once again had the largest number of positives in the Community, since 147 were diagnosed in Valencia and 59 in Castellón. However, and although not at the speed that might be desired, the infections are decreasing, since this Tuesday is the lowest daily number of new positives in the province in almost two months, since the 5th of July.
To this we must add that, after many ups and downs in recent days, hospital pressure has finally experienced a significant drop. As of yesterday, in Alicante hospitals there were 166 patients with coronavirus, 22 less than on Monday. Occupancy in Intensive Care Units has also fallen from 51 to 47 patients.
However, the pandemic has claimed four more lives in the province, all deaths occurring in the last seven days. With this, the accumulated number of deaths since March 2020 amounts to 2,919. In the rest of the Community, another nine deaths were reported yesterday.
Benidorm thoroughly cleans its ravines against possible episodes of a Gota Fría
The Benidorm City Council and the water management concession company in the city, Hidraqua, in recent days have intensified their cleaning and caring for the ravines that run through urban sections to avoid incidents in these channels in the event of possible episodes of a Gota Fría. This was confirmed on Tuesday by the Councilor for Public Space, José Ramón González de Zárate, who stated that “few cities are as prepared as Benidorm” in the face of this type of meteorological phenomenon. Now, although the mayor has assured that the city is prepared, the local government has also warned that, in the event of heavy rains in the next 20 days, there could be problems in a very specific point: the surrounding of the street Gerona closest to Doctor Orts Llorca avenue. The reason is the construction of an “anti-pollution tank” with “anti-storm” functionality, included in the remodeling project of Avenida del Mediterráneo, which has already begun.
The mayor has assured that it is “possibly the most complex engineering work that is being carried out at the moment in Spain”, as well as it being “the first tank of these characteristics”, with the capacity to collect up to 615 cubic meters of water that are Derived to the purification network, avoiding their arrival at the beach. As De Zárate has clarified, “this action could not be carried out previously due to the progress of the remodeling work” of Mediterráneo, although it is estimated that it will be completed in an approximate period of “between 15 and 20 days.”
To be able to build this tank, 8 meters deep by 24 meters long, it has been necessary to “cut the Orts Llorca collector”, which is why heavy torrential rains could cause an overflow of water in this avenue and in the section closest to Gerona. If necessary, the City Council has a traffic device and technical services planned to avoid serious incidents. In addition, the counselor has stressed that, once the tank is finished, “the usual episodes of flooding in all that area will be eliminated” and has advanced that “this legislature will resolve the canalization of all the ravines of Benidorm”, since Acting is already underway in Rajarell and it is planned to do so at Murtal as well.
With regard to the cleaning of the ravines itself, municipal sources have explained that, in addition to the maintenance that is done throughout the year, these days the work will be intensified, with the timely support of the cleaning company, Promotion of Constructions and Contracts and the Department of the Environment. Specifically, for the elimination of weeds and green waste, a plan has been arranged that began this Monday in the Barceló ravine and that during the next few weeks will reach “to all the ravines of the city: Derramador, Aigüera, Foietes, Xixo, Murtal and Rajarell.” In any case, González de Zárate has requested in writing the Júcar Hydrographic Confederation to clean the part of the riverbeds that is within its competence in the face of the torrential rainy season and the Generalitat Valenciana, the execution of the agreement for the works of Castellón-Ametlla del Mar-Mediterráneo avenues, signed in 2019.
A DANA threatens the north of the province of Alicante with hail and heavy rains
Generalized storms in the Valencian Community have been announced at the beginning of the statement issued by the Emergency Coordination Center of the Generalitat Valenciana, which reports that today a DANA (depression isolated at high levels) will reach the peninsula. According to the forecasts of the State Meteorological Agency (AEMET), the most intense rainfall in the Valencian Community will be recorded in the north of the province of Alicante, in the interior of the region and the south of Valencia late yesterday, and in the early hours of Thursday.
Thus, the storms are expected to be strong or very strong and to be accompanied by a large amount of lightning as well as “heavy or very strong showers and gusts and hail greater than 2 centimeters.” They also point out that “due to the own forcing of the DANAS, storms could occur at any time of the day or night.”
The Valencian Agency for Security and Emergency Response will continue to report on the evolution of these storms and for now the AEMET maintains the yellow alert for rains and storms in the interior and the north coast of the province.
Spanish tourism grows 10% compared to 2019 but does not compensate for the lack of foreign visitors
The desire to travel that has been growing since the Covid-19 health crisis broke out and the uncertainty about trips abroad have, this summer more than ever, caused national tourism to travel to destinations such as the Costa Blanca, to the point of becoming a key market for the recovery. However, the very wide offer that many towns, especially Benidorm, and the maintenance of harsh restrictions in issuing countries, mainly in the United Kingdom, have made the number of national travelers not enough to cushion the downturn and allow to face with good prospects the tough period that is presented from now on for the sector.
It is enough to observe some data collected by the National Institute of Statistics in the last Survey of Hotel Situation, corresponding to the month of July but which is perfectly applicable to the whole season. In it, it is observed that the maintenance of measures such as quarantines or the need to carry out PCR tests to go abroad in the main international markets reduced the business in province hotels by more than 90,000 clients per month, despite the fact that the number of Spanish tourists was an increase of almost 10% compared to the figures for 2019, the year immediately prior to the pandemic and in which all tourist records were broken.
The data from the employers indicate that the national market has represented around 80% of the total number of tourists staying, while the Portuguese, French, Belgians, Dutch and British also took, although to a much lesser extent, the rest of the beds offered in August.
The outlook is much less encouraging for the remainder of the summer season. September, a month of very high occupancy under normal conditions, is presented with a percentage of reservations that in some destinations do not exceed 20% for the whole month, which has made Hosbec point out the possibility that some establishments may begin to plan their closure as soon as the school year begins.
Covid infections among people in their 20’s are reduced by 57%
It has been dubbed the “young wave”, and it is precisely in the group of young people aged 20 to 29 that the incidence of the coronavirus has grown the most this summer. However, vaccination of this age group and the restrictions imposed to curb the pandemic are causing coronavirus cases to fall among those in their 20’s.
Until the 27th of August, the latest official data, there have been 7,665 infections in the Valencian Community in this age group. Those are 57% less than those detected in the same period of July, when the positives among the youngest group shot up in the middle of the fifth wave. In fact, one in four young people infected throughout the pandemic became infected in the month of July, in which several factors were combined, such as the end of classes and greater freedom in the summer. Fortunately, most cases in these age groups are mild and occur almost asymptomatically. With the vulnerable population groups protected with the vaccine, hospitalizations are focusing mainly on people in their 40’s with incomplete vaccination courses or who are not vaccinated at all.
The vaccination of this age group began on the 28th of July, with the rising cases of the fifth wave of coronavirus. In fact, the vaccinations for this age group was brought forward a few weeks to try to stop the increase in infections that were being chained day by day. A month later, 75% of the population in that group has already received the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine. In parallel, the Generalitat Valenciana again adopted a series of restrictions last month, such as the curfew and the limitation of groups to ten people, to stop the advance of the pandemic.
In this way, the accumulated incidence in the province has begun a slow but constant decline, which is being noticed especially in infections among young people. Currently the restrictions are still in force in 27 towns in the province: l’Alfàs del Pi, Alicante, Almoradí, Altea, Aspe, Benidorm, Calp, el Campello, Cocentaina, Dénia, Dolores, Finestrat, Jávea, Monforte del Cid, Monóvar, Mutxamel , Novelda, la Nucia, Onil, Pedreguer, Pego, Santa Pola, San Vicente del Raspeig, Sax, Teulada, Villajoyosa and Villena. A de-escalation of restrictions is expected to begin next week.