The epidemic curve shoots up in Spain and registers a new record of daily infections: 20,986 new covid-19 infections, according to the latest report from the Ministry of Health.
Precisely the day that the central government and the communities agree on a common roadmap to respond in a coordinated manner to the pandemic—With agreed alert levels and associated restrictive measures—, the virus once again crystallizes its capacity for expansion and the speed of contagion it can reach.
The accumulated incidence at 14 days amounts to 349 cases per 100,000 inhabitants and has already comfortably surpassed one million infections (1,026,281 infected) since the start of the pandemic.
Health has also reported 155 deaths in the last 24 hours, which brings the global death toll to 34,521, although this figure could be higher, since the deceased without CRP confirming the diagnosis of covid-19 are not counted here.
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None of the health indicators paint a very promising outlook in Spain.
Although the situation is heterogeneous among autonomous communities, the pattern repeats itself: infections are growing, hospitalizations are increasing and admissions to intensive care units (ICU) also continue to rise.
“At a global level the situation in Spain worsens. We make a great diagnostic effort but the incidence continues to rise. The evolution is not as acute as in some European countries, but it is certainly not good”, has valued the director of the Coordination Center of Alerts and Health Emergencies, Fernando Simón.
The worst part goes to Navarra, which almost triples the average incidence in Spain, and Aragon, which accumulates an incidence of 629 cases per 100,000 inhabitants and an ICU occupation of over 40%. Precisely these two autonomies are some of those that these days have reinforced restrictive measures in their territories to try to contain contagions:
Navarra decreed the perimeter closure of the community , the closure of the hotel industry and more time restrictions in the cultural field; Aragon, for its part, confined its three provincial capitals and tightened the limitations of capacity and restoration hours.
The accumulated incidence data place other territories such as Castilla y León (532 cases per 100,000 inhabitants) or La Rioja (601) in a worrying situation.
These autonomies have also chosen to apply perimeter closures and more severe restrictions in large cities or, in the case of Rioja, throughout the community.
On the other side of the scale is the Canary Islands, which enjoys a more privileged situation, with 82 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, and sheds hope in the community’s next tourist campaign: the United Kingdom and Germany have removed the archipelago from the list of risky destinations to travel.
What continues to concern health authorities, however, is the impact of the incidence on health care.
Primary care has been saturated for months, on the verge of collapse, between taking over its usual patients and managing all the detection and tracking of covid-19 cases, but now that care pressure is also beginning to be transferred to hospitals.
There are 14,160 people admitted with the coronavirus infection and 1,966 are in the ICU. Although in global terms, the occupation of critical beds stands, according to the ministry, at 21.85% of total capacity – between structural beds and spaces set up as ICUs to meet the demand of the pandemic – the reality is very variable.
Ceuta has eight critically ill patients and 47% of its ICU capacity is occupied; Melilla, with eight seriously ill people, has already exceeded 58% of its available beds.
A third of the UCIs in Castilla y León and a quarter of those in Castilla-La Mancha are also occupied. Occupancy in Catalonia is close to 30%.
“The truth is that we do not know what will happen in the next few days, we can foresee that the trend will continue to be upward, we cannot know the increase, but we are clearly going up.
This is reflected in hospitalizations and primary care. The balance between admissions and discharges, although it is still relatively balanced, leans towards hospitalizations ”, pointed out Simón.
Unlike the first wave, where hospitals were converted into centers exclusively for covid-19 and suspended all ordinary non-urgent activity, health centers have now conspired to maintain, as much as possible, standardized care for covid patients no longer covid.
Experts in ICU and hospital management have warned of the need to urgently lower the curve in order to maintain that balance.