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South Korea, Singapore and, already in Europe, Germany. These three are perhaps the most cited countries in Spain as an example in the fight against coronavirus; its massive early detection strategy, among others, has amazed the world, and has kept the epidemic at bay within its borders. & nbsp;“data-reactid =” 26 “> South Korea, Singapore and, already in Europe, Germany. These three are perhaps the most cited countries in Spain as an example in the fight against the coronavirus, its massive early detection strategy, among others , has amazed the world, and has kept the epidemic at bay within its borders.

As of May 18, Singapore has 22 deaths, South Korea, 263, and Germany is close to 8,000 when the large countries in its vicinity – Italy, France, United Kingdom, Spain – are around 30,000. However, this statement has a catch: they are the large countries in their environment left to the west; If you compare Germany with the countries to the east, the German power does not fare as well. & nbsp; & nbsp;“data-reactid =” 27 “> As of May 18, Singapore counts 22 deaths, South Korea, 263, and Germany is close to 8,000 when the large countries around it – Italy, France, United Kingdom, Spain – are around 30,000 However, this statement is tricky: it is the large countries in its environment that are to the west, if you compare Germany with the countries that are to the east, the German power does not fare as well.

In Poland, 929 people have died from coronavirus, 462 in Hungary, 298 in the Czech Republic, 28 in Slovakia. Only in Romania have they exceeded a thousand. What has Eastern Europe done to circumvent the epidemic? & Nbsp;“data-reactid =” 28 “> In Poland 929 people have died from coronavirus, 462 in Hungary, 298 in the Czech Republic, 28 in Slovakia. In Romania alone they have exceeded a thousand. What has Eastern Europe done to circumvent the epidemic ?

Mira Milosevich, principal investigator of the Elcano Royal Institute Eastern European expert, considers that there have been “four fundamental factors” that can be summed up in one: the countries, aware of the fragility of their health system, quickly activated the containment phase to prevent the virus from spreading. & nbsp;“data-reactid =” 29 “> Mira Milosevich, principal investigator of the Elcano Royal Institute, expert in Eastern Europe, considers that there have been” four fundamental factors “that can be summed up in one: the countries, aware of the fragility of their health system They quickly activated the containment phase to prevent the virus from spreading.

Closing of borders and schools (with help to parents)

“They reacted very soon,” he explains. Milosevich. On March 16, “several days after the first case appeared in Prague, the Czech Republic sealed the borders,” says the researcher. “Other countries such as Hungary, Poland and Slovakia followed the example of the Czech Republic and, at the end of March, all had closed the borders, thus preventing the entry of people with possible infections,” he says. Nationals and persons with residence who could enter the country had to undergo a mandatory two-week quarantine, as it was introduced in Spain… two months later.“data-reactid =” 31 “>” They reacted very soon, “explains Milosevich. On March 16,” several days after the first case appeared in Prague, the Czech Republic sealed the borders, “says the researcher.” Other countries like Hungary, Poland and Slovakia followed the example of the Czech Republic and, at the end of March, all had closed the borders, thus preventing the entry of people with possible infections, “he points out. Nationals and people with residence who could enter the country had to undergo a mandatory two-week quarantine, as introduced in Spain … two months later.

“It must be said that these countries have much less tourism than Spain, Italy or France,” admits Milosevich, “but the borders were closed, in any case.”“data-reactid =” 32 “>” It must be said that these countries have much less tourism than Spain, Italy or France “, acknowledges Milosevich,” but the borders were closed, in any case “.

At the same time, the schools were closed, and the researcher adds one more detail about the particular case of the Czech Republic: “In families where both parents worked and there were children under the age of 10, the full salary of one of the parents while staying home to care for their child. ” Thus, “children they didn’t have to stay with the grandparents“, He says. Neither go to town with other relatives.“data-reactid =” 33 “> At the same time, the schools were closed, and the researcher adds one more detail about the particular case of the Czech Republic:“ In families where both parents worked and there were children under 10 years old, he kept the full salary of one of the parents while he stayed at home to take care of his son. ”In this way,“ the children did not have to stay with the grandparents, ”he says, nor did they go to town with other relatives.

In mid-March, the acts and meetings of several people were also prohibited, with which “mobility was greatly limited and social distancing was facilitated.” The dates coincide more or less with the declaration of the state of alarm in Spain, with the difference that in the Czech Republic there were about forty cases of coronavirus and in Spain it was close to a thousand.“data-reactid =” 34 “> In mid-March, the acts and meetings of several people were also prohibited, with which” mobility was greatly limited and social distancing was facilitated. “The dates more or less coincide with the declaration of the state of alarm in Spain, with the difference that in the Czech Republic there were about forty cases of coronavirus and in Spain it was already close to a thousand.

Mandatory masks “from the beginning”

The third factor that Milosevich mentions is that of masks. “Despite the initial doubts about its use, from the beginning they were made mandatory in public spaces and closed work places,” he explains. On March 19, the Czech Republic became the first country in Europe to make them compulsory; “All its politicians and public figures led by example and the entire population became aware of its use,” says Milosevich. & Nbsp;“data-reactid =” 36 “> The third factor that Milosevich mentions is that of masks.” Despite the initial doubts that there were about their use, from the beginning they were made mandatory in public spaces and closed work places ” On March 19, the Czech Republic became the first country in Europe to make them mandatory, “all its politicians and public figures led by example and the entire population became aware of its use,” says Milosevich.

In fact, when Spain asked NATO for help, the Czech Republic sent 10,000 personal protective equipment (PPE) as a donation, recalls the researcher. “They had their own medical supplies and, from the first moment, they had what they owned. The international market became the Wild West between competitiveness and rising prices ”, he points out. For its part, Spain is now trying to regulate the use of face masks in public spaces, without there being an explicit consensus between the international health authorities.“data-reactid =” 37 “> In fact, when Spain asked NATO for help, the Czech Republic sent 10,000 personal protective equipment (PPE) as a donation, recalls the researcher.” They had their own medical equipment and, from the At first, they had what they owned. The international market became the wild west between competitiveness and rising prices. “For his part, Spain is now trying to regulate the use of face masks in public spaces, without there is an explicit consensus among international health authorities.

They decided not to test their public health system, because they knew that they would suspend

For the researcher, these three points – closing borders, schools and wearing masks – are the most “obvious”, but not the most relevant when it comes to stopping the epidemic in Eastern Europe. “There is a fourth factor that for me is the most important, and that is that [en Europa del Este] they were well aware of the fragility of their sanitary structure. These countries have not invested much in their healthcare, so their public healthcare system is quite fragile, even bad, “he says.“data-reactid =” 40 “> For the researcher, these three points — closing borders, schools and wearing masks — are the most“ obvious ”, but not the most relevant when it comes to stopping the epidemic in Europe oriental. “There is a fourth factor that for me is the most important, and that is that [en Europa del Este] they were well aware of the fragility of their sanitary structure. These countries have not invested much in their healthcare, so their public healthcare system is quite fragile, even bad, “he says.

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Aware of this, they set a clear goal. “In the Czech Republic, for example, if they had 300 ICU beds, they decided never to have 150 patients; They kept that joker of having 100 or 150 empty beds because they knew that they had no resources, no medical personnel, and no capacity to set up hospitals like IFEMA’s, “says the researcher. “Knowing that their health was not capable of responding to a huge crisis, they decided that they could not risk it and that they had to prevent it ”. & nbsp;“data-reactid =” 45 “> Aware of this, they set a clear goal for themselves.” In the Czech Republic, for example, if they had 300 ICU beds, they set out to never have 150 patients; they kept that wild card of having 100 or 150 empty beds because they knew they had neither the resources nor the medical personnel, nor the capacity to set up hospitals like IFEMA’s, “says the researcher.” Knowing that their health was not capable of responding to a huge crisis, they decided that they could not take risks and they had to prevent. ”

In this way, all their efforts were directed towards prevention, in order to “not put their public health system under review, because they knew that they would suspend”.“data-reactid =” 46 “> In this way, all their efforts were directed towards prevention, in order to” not test their public health system, because they knew that they would suspend “.

The HEVRE cafeteria in Krakow (Poland). Since May 18, with the start of the third phase of the de-escalation, restaurants, sports facilities and hairdressing salons can open in the country. (Photo: Omar Marques / .)

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At this point, it is worth wondering whether in Western countries they were overconfident. In Milosevich’s opinion, the answer is yes. “In Spain it has been said many times that we have the best healthcare system in the world, and I think there has been an exaggerated trust,” he says. “Apparently, western countries have many more instruments to fight a pandemic, but since in Eastern Europe they knew they did not have them, they could not afford to reach that limit and I think this has been the key,” he concludes. “They took it very seriously knowing that they could not face a crisis of this type or pay the price that this implies,” he reiterates.“data-reactid =” 67 “> At this point, it is worth asking whether in western countries it was overconfident. In Milosevich’s opinion, the answer is yes.” In Spain it has been said many times that we have the best system world health, and I think there has been an exaggerated confidence, “he says.” Apparently, Western countries have many more instruments to fight a pandemic, but as in Eastern Europe they knew they did not have them, they could not afford to reach that limit and I think this has been the key, “he concludes.” They took it very seriously knowing that they could not face a crisis of this type or pay the price that this implies, “he reiterates.

It is not the first time that an investigator point in this direction and points to overconfidence in the system as one of the culprits for the uncontrolled spread of the epidemic in Western countries. & nbsp;“data-reactid =” 68 “> It is not the first time that a researcher points in this direction and points to overconfidence in the system as one of the culprits for the uncontrolled spread of the epidemic in Western countries.

“Countries that did not trust their system much have fared much better,” corroborates a doctor and researcher from the CSIC who prefers not to give his name. “The very powerful conservative countries, except Germany, have been screwed,” sums up the scientist, who mentions Greece and Portugal as examples of nations that, with “a health system they don’t trust,” preferred to err on the side of caution and decree confinement before the number of infections spilled over.“data-reactid =” 69 “>” Countries that did not trust their system much have fared much better “, corroborates a doctor and researcher from the CSIC who prefers not to give his name.” The very powerful conservative countries, except Germany , we have been screwed ”, sums up the scientist, who mentions Greece and Portugal as examples of nations that, with“ a health system they don’t trust, ”preferred to err on the side of caution and decree confinement before the number of infections

In Spain the system is good, but it can also be improved. It seems that we have forgotten the years of cuts and privatizations, and this crisis has caught us in panties

“I think that in Spain there was a bit of pride and there was a feeling that we were left over,” he says. “We are super proud of our healthcare, and our system is good, but it can also be improved. It seems that we have forgotten the years of cuts and privatizations, and this crisis has caught us in panties ”, sentence. With fewer hospital and ICU beds and fewer professionals for each inhabitant, “our healthcare is worse than it was ten years ago, this is an objective fact,” he says.“data-reactid =” 72 “>” I think that in Spain there was a bit of pride and there was a feeling that we were left over, “he says.” We are super proud of our health, and our system is good, but it is also It could be improved. It seems that we have forgotten the years of cuts and privatizations, and this crisis has caught us in panties, “he says. With fewer hospital and ICU beds and fewer professionals for each inhabitant,” our healthcare is worse than it does ten years, this is an objective fact ”, he affirms.

In any case, the professional prefers to focus all efforts on “thinking about what should be done from now on”. “It seems that things are evolving well. What must be avoided now is that all this go backwards, “he ditches, and insists that the responsibility of the people is fundamental so that history does not repeat itself.“data-reactid =” 73 “> In any case, the professional prefers to focus all efforts on“ thinking about what should be done from now on. ”“ It seems that things are evolving well. What to avoid now is that all this goes backwards ”, ditch, and insists that the responsibility of the people is fundamental so that history does not repeat itself.

Curiously, another of the secondary aspects that Mira Milosevich mentions as a factor that “could have influenced” the low incidence of the epidemic in eastern countries is “the discipline of its population”. “On the first day of phase 0 in Spain, the Police detected 30 bottles on the street in Madrid alone. This is unimaginable in Prague or Bratislava, and not only because there is no concept of a large bottle, but because there is greater social discipline, ”he says. “It is important to recognize that they have also done well there, that it has not only been the rich countries, such as Germany,” emphasizes Milosevich. “They are very proud, and they have undoubtedly excelled in managing this crisis.”“data-reactid =” 74 “> Curiously, another secondary aspect that Mira Milosevich mentions as a factor that“ could have influenced ”the low incidence of the epidemic in eastern countries is“ the discipline of its population ”. On the first day of phase 0 in Spain, the Police detected 30 large bottles on the street in Madrid alone. This is unimaginable in Prague or Bratislava, and not only because there is no concept of a large bottle, but because there is greater social discipline “, He affirms. “It is important to recognize that they have also done well there, that it has not only been the rich countries, such as Germany,” emphasizes Milosevich. “They are very proud, and they have undoubtedly excelled in managing this crisis.”

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