Vaccination was established as a priority among vulnerable groups, especially older people, for one reason: if these groups were contagious, the deaths would be more numerous. It was an inescapable truth that is now reinforced with another piece of information: that of the deceased in residences since the pandemic began. Because the number of elderly people who have died in these centers due to covid, according to the official accounting of the Ministry of Health, already touches the barrier of 30,000 – specifically 29,782 – divided between the 19,868 confirmed deaths and the 9,914 with symptoms compatible with that disease.
In this scenario, most of the deaths occurred according to the figures during the first wave of the pandemic, between March 14 and June 22, when 19,835 people died in residences, of them 9,976 confirmed. To these deaths were added another 6,305 in the rest of 2020, for a total of 26,140 in the year. That is, in this third wave of 2021, at least 3,286 other people have died in residential centers, most of them in the month of January because from the second week of February the effects of the vaccination began to be noticed.
Because Spain is already approaching in general lines 4 million inoculated doses (3,908,734), with 79,629 in the last 24 hours, and 1,266,700 people having received as of this Tuesday the complete guideline to be immune. In this sense, the autonomous communities have received a total of 4,508,845 vaccines so far, of which 86.7% have been administered. Despite this progress, however, the Government does not want to lower its guard. Not even with the drop in data that continues to be a constant in recent days.
Measurements at Easter
In this manifested caution, Health suggests that the limitations on mobility between regions remain until after Easter, fearing that an excessively rapid de-escalation could start a fourth wave in the coming weeks. The department that Carolina Darias directs works with the autonomies in a common action plan, the preparation of which will continue today in the Interterritorial Health Council, with the questioned easing of the restrictions for the very present Christmas holidays.
The need to re-float the economy will once again be the main argument to try to accelerate the de-escalation. In this line, the Madrid president, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, has spoken, who this Tuesday expressed her intention to continue with the semi-opening of all activity in the region -the only one together with Extremadura that currently does not have a perimeter closure-, in what is anticipates a new disagreement with Health.
The Junta de Castilla y León, Murcia or Cantabria responded to this by asking for a prudent and homogeneous criterion for the entire national territory. In similar terms, the Government spokeswoman, María Jesús Montero, also expressed herself, saying that “this year, like last, is still special.”
The data continues to improve
Despite the fact that the data trend continues to be favorable, Health technicians emphasize that it is necessary to control the transmission of the virus as much as possible, with the accumulated incidence already in 168.4 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. In addition, the health balance left 2,662 more infections and 192 deaths. With this, the total number of infections stands at 3,130,184, 73,347 less than yesterday due to a statistical adjustment after Catalonia eliminated a series of duplicate cases, and the number of deaths amounted to 69,801,686 in the last seven days. In this trend, 11,246 people are still hospitalized (508 less than a week ago) and the ucis are with an occupancy of 26.99%, similar to the peak of the second wave in November.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.