The third wave continues to be relentless. For the fifth time in the last two weeks Spain This Thursday he again beat his record of daily infections by touching 45,000 cases. Exactly 44,357 new infections were infected in just 24 hours, an increase of 23% compared to the 35,878 positives that were reported exactly one week ago. With respect to the previous day, those infected grew by 6% day-to-day.
With this runaway increase in cases, the 14-day cumulative incidence (AI) shot up one more day and there are 13 consecutive increases. From one day to the next it went from 736 cases per 100,000 inhabitants to 795, an increase of 8% daily.or that in few occasions it had been seen before in the historical series. In less than two weeks the incidence has more than doubled, boosted by the ‘Christmas effect’ and the appearance of the new strains.
“The incidence continues to grow but the increases are smaller every day which indicates that we are in the inflection part”, pointed out with some optimism Fernando Simón, director of the Center for the Coordination of Health Alerts and Emergencies (CCAES), who also highlighted as a positive data that would guarantee that this third wave seems to be slowing down that the positivity rate (percentage of positives in the tests carried out) It has stabilized in recent weeks at 17% and that “we are close to our maximum detection capacity.”
But beyond Simón’s optimism, this Thursday’s statistics on that accumulated incidence were especially worrying. AI went up simultaneously in each and every one of the 19 territories. Especially significant was in Castilla y León (95 points), La Rioja (92) and the Valencian Community (90).
Despite the supposed slowdown of which the director of CCAES spoke, 6 communities consolidated over a thousand cases per 100,000 inhabitants, that is to say, quadrupling the rates in the national and international authorities place the zone of “extreme” danger of the virus. They were Extremadura (with 1,467 positives, figures never seen before in any community), Murcia (1,286), the Valencian Community (1,166), Castilla y León (1,142), Castilla-La Mancha (1,140) and La Rioja (1,134).
If the epidemiological situation is delicate with the exponential increase in cases, as much or more so is the healthcare situation. And it is that the percentage of plant beds occupied by covid patients in Spain exceeded 20% for the first time, the cap that marks the situation of ‘extreme risk’. In other words, a fifth of hospital beds throughout the country are already occupied by coronavirus patients, something that had not happened even at the top of the second wave when the maximum was reached on November 9 with 17%.
This Thursday there were 26,542 people admitted with the virus in Spain, also a record in the historical series, well above the 21,051 convalescent patients from covid that were registered on November 11, 2020 at the peak of the second wave.
Spain also broke its own records with 3,745 entries in a single day, about 1,300 more people than in the worst moments of the last wave last November. And all this with an ICU occupancy that grew again to 36% occupancy of covid patients, eleven points above what should be the ceiling that marks the maximum emergency situation.
«We believe that the evolution of the cases in the hospital evolution will not be appreciated until at least the middle of next week. The pressure on the health system will continue ”, predicted Fernando Simón, before warning that the situation, however, could worsen shortly because Health hopes that the ‘British strain’, much more contagious, is predominant in Spain in mid-March.
The unstoppable increase in cases was also noted this Thursday in mortality. Health scored 404 cases in the last hours, raising the total death toll from the pandemic to 55,041. But the most serious thing is that the statistics of the department headed by Salvador Illa counted 1,285 deaths in the last week, a figure that is already close to the highs of the second wave when 1,346 dead with death certificate were reached in the last seven days.