The epidemic curve in Spain continues the upward course marked since last week. The accumulated incidence already easily exceeds the extreme risk threshold stipulated by the Ministry of Health (250 cases per 100,000 inhabitants) and stands at 262 infected per 100,000 inhabitants after notifying 12,662 new infections and 126 deaths this Thursday. Since the start of the pandemic, 1.8 million infected have been registered and the confirmed death toll is around 50,000. At the height of the Christmas holidays, when social interactions are expected to increase and, consequently, the circulation of the virus, healthcare pressure continues to decline, although still in very high numbers: there are 10,744 hospitalized with covid-19, 1,907 in care intensive. The health workers warn of the impact that a possible strong rebound in cases after the Christmas holidays can have on the hospital system.
The virus picks up speed again. The second wave had not finished de-escalation and the trend has already turned again: in the absence of data from the Canary Islands, Melilla and Murcia, which have not updated their figures, there are six communities that already have an accumulated incidence at 14 days above of the 250 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. The Balearic Islands (474), Madrid and the Valencian Community (both with an incidence of 376) are the worst performing autonomous regions. Ceuta (112), Asturias, Cantabria and Andalusia (the three with less than 150 cases per 100,000 inhabitants) are in a more favorable epidemiological situation.
The growth of contagions on the street, however, has not yet crystallized in hospitals, which continue to reduce healthcare pressure: there are 584 fewer people than yesterday hospitalized for covid-19 in a conventional bed, although the covid occupation in these wards income is 8.8%. Specifically, in intensive care there are also higher rates than new admissions, although the global drop in occupancy is much slower than in conventional hospitalization: there are 1,907 patients with covid-19 in these units, that is, 20% of the Places for critically ill are covered by people infected by the coronavirus.
“Covid-19 patients have dropped, but there are still second wave patients. This wave is not over and there is a lot of concern, ”says María José Campillo, spokesperson for the Spanish Confederation of Medical Unions. The health workers ask that the guard not be lowered this Christmas and that prudence be maintained. In La Rioja, the occupancy of the ICU by patients with covid-19 exceeds 30% and in Madrid it is above 25%. “The concern does not go away, although it seems that the hospital pressure is low. Because the pressure is still high and a third wave may come ”, warns María José García, spokesperson for the Satse nursing union.
Professionals fear the scourge of a third wave after Christmas. If that happens, the health system will have to balance attention to the increase in infections with the vaccination campaign against covid-19, which will begin this Sunday and during the first three months of the year will focus on immunizing the elderly and nursing home workers and health personnel. “The campaign will be an added problem because it will be very long and will imply an additional burden on professionals,” says Campillo.
Spain will receive in the next 12 weeks more than 4.5 million doses of the vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech, which will be distributed weekly among the communities in an “equitable” manner, according to the Minister of Health, Salvador Illa. The president of the Community of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, has demanded more vaccines from the Government because she considers that the number corresponding to the region is “really low”.
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