The last time that Spain as a whole was outside the epidemiological zone of ‘extreme risk’ was on Tuesday, December 22. On that day, the day of the lottery, the national cumulative incidence (AI), in constant growth for two weeks, stood at 236 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. Since then and until this Tuesday, during those 63 days, Spain, hit by the Christmas effect and the new strains, has lived with incidence figures well above acceptable standards according to medical experts, to the point that on Wednesday, January 27, the country touched 900 cases.
But today, finally, the AI dropped below the 250 that set the bar for that extremely high-danger zone. There were 235.84 cases, which places the country in a ‘high risk’ area, but still very far from the ideal of 50 positives per 100,000 inhabitants in which Health places the limit to be able to ‘live’ with the virus. A horizon that does not seem easy, especially because In several communities, signs have appeared in recent days that the decline in covid transmission seems to be beginning to slow, when not to stagnate, as they warned today from the governments of Catalonia or the Basque Country.
But the truth is that only the Canary Islands among the 19 territories saw their cumulative incidence increase on Tuesday. The lucky islands (with an AI of 110.24 compared to 108.94 the day before) after months of leading the national ranking, saw about a few tenths of a Baleares became the community with the best data in the country with an incidence of 100, 14.
As it is, still more than half of the population of Spain lives in one of the eight territories that are technically still in an ‘extreme’ situation with an incidence of more than 250 cases. This is Melilla with 434.75; Madrid with 362, 53; Ceuta with 331, 46; Basque Country with 287, 67; Aragon with 271.05; Andalusia with 261, 12; Castilla y León with 252.10; and Asturias with 250.98.
However, and despite doubts as to how far this drop will go, the truth is that the fall in accumulated incidence was not the only good news on Tuesday. The number of infections once again fell below 10 thousand, something that had not appeared in the Health tables for 75 days. But the best thing is that the volume of daily infections has suffered an unprecedented collapse since the pandemic began more than a year ago. There were 7,461 new positives, a figure that was not seen in official statistics since August 26 of last year when Spain still lived in the utopia that the restrictions of the ‘new normal’ could prevent new waves such as the one in spring 2020 and the country was moving around 7,296 infected daily and an incidence half of the current one.
In just one week, cases are down 26% compared to the 10,057 positives reported last Tuesday February 16th. On January 21, the third wave peaked with 44,357 positives. This Tuesday, just over a month later, the volume of infected inter-day fell to one sixth.
But not everything was positive. Although there were notable decreases in some indicators, other indices that anticipate trends, warned today that the fall could be slowing down and that it could even stop. This is the case of the percentage of test positivity, that in 24 hours it barely dropped one tenth (from 7.69% of the tests to 7.59%).
Even so, the decreases in infections, at least for the moment, are giving a deserved respite to the healthcare system, which this Tuesday fell from the 15,000 admitted by covid (It was exactly 14,169) for the first time since January 8, before the Christmas holiday tsunami of contagions flooded hospitals.
The percentage of occupancy of ICU beds by patients with covid also fell slightly less than one point compared to Monday, which stood at 31.04%. Y the number of general hospital beds also decreased, from 33.02% to 31.04% in 24 hours.
Where the pressure of the infections caused by the ‘Christmas effect’ is still too high is the morgues. This Tuesday the Ministry of Health added to its statistics 443 new deaths, bringing the total number of fatalities from the pandemic to 68,079.