Local Daily News 30th December

The province registers 2,735 infections of covid-19 in a day before the end of the year

The daily contagions of covid-19 are still rampant in the province, just before the New Year’s Eve celebrations. The Department of Universal Health and Public Health notified this Tuesday of 2,735 new positives confirmed through an antigen test or a PCR test in the last 24 hours, which accounts for the high transmissibility with which the virus is moving.

The number of new infections represents the highest level of daily cases since last February, at the peak of the third wave, and raises to 224,148 the number of people in Alicante who have contracted this disease since the pandemic broke out in March of 2020.

However, although the number of infections is at levels similar to those of the worst moment of the pandemic, the number of hospitalizations for now remains contained. In fact, Health data indicates that the province’s hospitals today have a total of 273 hospitalized patients, thirteen less than the previous day, when the reported figure was 286. Meanwhile, 60 people remain admitted to the Intensive Care Unit, one more than a day before.

The Department headed by Ana Barceló has also reported six deaths with coronavirus in the province since the last data update, carried out this Tuesday. Thus, 3,120 people have already lost their lives due to the complications of SARS-CoV 2 throughout the health crisis. In the Valencian Community as a whole, the number of deaths reported in the last 24 hours rises to 14 people, three women between 80 and 89 years old and 11 men between 49 and 93 years old, who leave a sad balance of 8,111 deaths since March 2020.

In the Community as a whole, the Ministry of Health has notified this Wednesday a total of 7,963 new cases of coronavirus confirmed by PCR test or through antigen test. With this update, the total number of positives stands at 619,930 people. Valencia is once again the province with the most daily cases: 4,257 compared to the 971 registered in Castellón.

There have also been 3,742 discharges of patients with coronavirus. In this way, the number of people who have overcome the disease since the pandemic began in the Valencian Community amounts to 568,441 people. By provinces, registrations are distributed as follows: 63,194 in Castellón, 206,230 in Alicante and 298,961 in Valencia. The total of unassigned registrations remains at 56.

Valencian hospitals currently have 905 people admitted with COVID-19, 172 of them in the ICU: 173 in the province of Castellón, 23 in the ICU; 459 in the province of Valencia, 89 in the ICU; and the 273 mentioned above in the province of Alicante, 60 of them in the ICU.

According to the data recorded, there are currently 54,819 active cases, which represents 8.68% of the total positives.

Finally, it should be noted that the Ministry of Health has reported two outbreaks with more than ten related cases, one of them in the province. Specifically, in the town of San Vicente del Raspeig, where 10 positives from the educational field have been confirmed. The other outbreak is located in Ayora, Valencia, with 12 cases of social origin.

Santa Pola awards 1.6 million in covid aid to 735 companies and the self-employed

The Santa Pola City Council has managed in 2021 to obtain a total of 1.6 million euros in covid aid from the Resistir plans and the Alicante Provincial Council’s aid plan. In total, 735 companies and freelancers from Santa Pola should directly benefit, according to a municipal statement.

These grants are part of the Resistir plans, carried out jointly with the Generalitat and the Alicante Provincial Council Aid Plan. From the Resistir plan, three calls were made with 589 applications and a total of 1.2 million euros.

From the Provincial Council’s plan, with two calls for the tourist and productive sectors, a total of 146 applications were received, with 432 thousand euros allocated in aid for companies in Santa Pola.

The Councillor for the Treasury, José Pedro Martínez, indicates that “the 735 companies and self-employed workers from Santa Pola that fulfilled the conditions of the aid have already received 100% of the amounts and practically all sectors have been reached from the hotel industry, commerce, leisure, tourism, services and industry”.

From the Treasury area it is also reported that the elimination of the fees for tables and chairs, as well as that of markets in 2020, and the reduction to 50% in 2021, has meant savings for these Santa Polera companies of about 750,000 euros.

The Ministry of Health shortens coronavirus quarantine to seven days

The Public Health Commission, in its meeting yesterday afternoon, unanimously agreed to reduce the isolation period for people who test positive to 7 days. In this way, people positive for covid-19 will have to isolate for 7 days instead of the current 10, as recommended by the experts. In the same way, contacts that require quarantine (that is, those unvaccinated people who are close contact of a positive) also reduce their quarantine period to seven days.

The Presentation of Alerts and Preparedness and Response Plans, which depends on the Public Health Commission, in which technicians from the Ministry of Health and the autonomous communities are present, have finally decided yesterday afternoon that quarantines for positive covid-19 cases, even if they are vaccinated and regardless of whether they are symptomatic or not, will be seven days.

A meeting full of expectation and in a scenario that, as experts have been warning in recent days, has changed radically with the abrupt appearance, at the end of November, of the omicron variant, with a contagion rate so high that, in recent days, several communities have increased restrictions in the face of New Year’s Eve or changed the diagnostic test protocols for both positives and their close contacts.

In Spain, currently, the Ministry of Health guidelines establish that covid-19 positives have to be isolated for at least 10 days. Once that period has passed, and as long as more than 72 hours have passed since the last symptoms, that person will be able to return to work and resume their normal life. In some communities, to confirm that they are definitively free of the virus, a PCR test is performed.

The debate on a possible reduction of the isolation period of positive cases for coronavirus arrived this Wednesday at the table of the Interterritorial Council. Madrid was the first community to propose this option, advocating to address the sixth wave with different measures and to follow the path already opened by the United States and Greece, which have recommended and approved, respectively, to shorten this from ten to five days.

The Public Health Commission of the Interterritorial Council had already approved, on the 21st of December, to modify the document ‘Strategy for the early detection, surveillance and control of covid-19’, in its update on the 1st of December, and eliminate the home quarantines of 10 days of the close contacts of the positives, a measure that the Community of Madrid had previously defended.

Workers Commissions calls an indefinite strike in the cleaning service of the Vega Baja Hospital in Orihuela from the 10th of January

The Workers Commissions has called an indefinite strike in the cleaning service of the Hospital de la Vega Baja (Orihuela) as of the 10th of January for the actions in the matter of hiring and staff adjustment that the service contractor, Ferrovial Servicios SA, intends to deepen. A problem of adjustments, says the union in a statement, “which is not new, since the previous contracting companies were reducing their staff, which went from the 85 people in 2012 to the 64 that there are today”.

The union denounces that this has caused the staff to protest in recent years because the reduction in staff “affects a greater workload and complaints from the Hospital for poorly provided services that ultimately affect the cleaning staff.” Until now, complaints have been filed with the Labor Inspectorate and rallies have been organized at the door of the centre as a protest, but the contracting companies have been succeeding “without any solution”.

In this sense, last August the new Ferrovial contractor entered, and according to the union’s complaint, “everything has gotten worse.” They assure that the first thing they did was “fire one of the managers, then start to not cover medical leave with the same hours in order to increase benefits, and then ask the committee that it should restructure the service, since with 37 workers during the week and 15 on weekends, according to them there is enough”.

From the works council they point out that this means that of the 64 people they would have to fire about 12 more workers. “There is also an agreement signed between the Committee and one of the previous contracting companies (Clece) that allows part-time workers to claim full-time vacancies generated by retirement or permanent disability,” and there are currently eight lawsuits in this regard. The trial is in April.

Ferrovial has stated, they point out from the union, that if the workers win it will automatically fire them, that is, “a scenario with about 20 more layoffs.” “We cannot accept it and we cannot understand how the cleaning of a Hospital can be reduced to half the number of people of 10 years ago, when its surface has also increased, now there are more square meters than in 2012”, criticize from the workers commissions.

They regret that this “can only be done at the cost of leaving things to clean in a public hospital, with how important cleaning is, and more so with covid.” They believe that there should be 85 people dedicated to cleaning, since there are currently 64 and they intend to leave the number of workers at just 44. The current staff asks that the vacancies be covered with the same hours, the agreements are respected, the manager be reinstated and no one is fired. Settle, “otherwise the strike is served”.

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