The pandemic continues to run rampant in Spain, which has exceeded seven million coronavirus infections since the start of the health crisis. This Friday, the Ministry of Health has reported 242,440 infections and 97 more deaths since Wednesday, when the second highest daily number of infections of the pandemic was registered with 137,180. After the Christmas holidays and three days after going back to school, the wave of infections continues to grow and the incidence remains unbridled. According to Health data, the infection rate has risen 147 points and reaches 2,722 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days. In the last ten days, Spain has registered more than one million new coronavirus infections, with 1,132,609 cases. In the same period of time, record numbers of infections and cumulative incidence have been reached.
The President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, associates this escalation of infections with the new variant of the coronavirus. “It is true that we are witnessing, like the whole world, the vertiginous spread of the new variant of the coronavirus, which is raising the number of infections to levels never seen before,” he declared this Friday during his speech at the meeting of the Federal Committee of the PSOE. “The omicron variant will make us see still high numbers of infections in our country in the coming days,” he warned.
This increase in cases is observed in all the autonomous communities. Navarra continues to be the region with the highest infection rate, reaching 6,704 points. They are followed by the Basque Country with 5,539 and Aragon with 4,645. These three regions have been the territories with the highest incidence of the virus for about two months, although in recent weeks the situation has tended to equalize in all communities. However, in Madrid the rate of infections per 100,000 inhabitants reflects a decrease: it has dropped 279 points and stands at 2,388. By age, young people between 20 and 29 years old are the group with the highest incidence, rising 104 points since Wednesday and reaching 4,084 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.
Hospital pressure continues to rise, but more slowly than in previous waves. According to the data of the latest Health document, 14,426 people remain admitted by the covid, 1,067 more than on Wednesday. This rise is reflected in a similar way in the occupancy of intensive care units, which rises half a point and stands at 22%. Of every 100 people admitted to the ICU, 22 have covid. “We must be aware that the high numbers of infections do not translate into exponential growth in hospitalizations or ICU admissions,” Sánchez recalled. The infection data are visibly higher than those of a year ago, when Spain was near the peak of the third wave, but the percentage of hospitalization and occupation of ucis is lower. The pressure has now shifted to primary care, when it used to be in hospitals.
The Ministry of Health has reported that 88.8% of those over 70 years of age already have a booster dose of the vaccine against covid-19. Among those older than 60 to 69 years the percentage is 79%. This immunization directly influences the rate of hospitalization and deaths in this age group, which have been drastically reduced in the sixth wave. “While we are waiting for science to tell us if this variant is more or less harmful than the previous ones, what we do know is that vaccination protects us more against the severity of the disease and death,” Sánchez has defended. “Most of the cases we are registering are infections from asymptomatic people.” He also assured that, thanks to vaccines, Spain is better prepared today than a year ago for the disease and that “we are going to have to learn to live with it as we do with many other viruses.”
As risk groups reach high percentages of immunization with the booster dose, the vaccination strategy focuses on those under 12 years of age when they return to school. 32.1% of children in this age group have already received the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine, 1,076,522 minors. The application of the initial vaccination schedule in the general population remains practically immobile due to the high percentage of vaccination coverage achieved. 80.2% of citizens in Spain have the complete vaccination schedule against the coronavirus, 38 million people. 82% of citizens, 38.8 million people, are found with at least one dose. Since the start of the vaccination campaign at the beginning of the year, the autonomous communities have administered 84,998,187 doses of the coronavirus vaccine, 207,271 since yesterday.
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