The Ministry of Health has notified this Monday 61,628 new cases of coronavirus and 23 deaths compared to last Friday, data that shows that the fifth wave continues to hit Spain hard. Those hospitalized for covid are already 6,482 (1,426 more than on Friday), of which 1,039 are in the ICU (167 more). In each of the last seven days, the number of hospitalized has grown by an average of 370 and that of admitted to the ICU, by 46.
The incidence per 100,000 inhabitants at 14 days has climbed to 600 cases (63 more than on Friday), with Catalonia leading this indicator by far (1,234 cases). In addition, Navarra and Castilla y León also exceed the national average above 800 cases, Aragon over 700, and Asturias and Cantabria.
The data reveal, as those responsible for Health had already pointed out, a slight slowdown in the increase in new diagnoses, which in the last week have increased by 63% while in the previous one they had done so above 80%.
Despite this, the deputy director of the Health Alerts and Emergencies Coordination Center (CCAES) of Health, María José Sierra (who appeared on Monday instead of Fernando Simón) has insisted that “cases continue to increase” and that although three out of every four new diagnoses are in people under 40 years of age, the incidence is increasing “in all age groups.”
Hospitalizations and admissions to the ICU, which usually take a couple of weeks to notice the trend changes that affect incidence, continue to accelerate their rise. In recent days, the number of hospitalized in Spain has grown by 67% compared to the 43% increase in the previous week. Hospital pressure for covid patients is 45% and in ICU 17%. Sierra has described this data as “worrying.” “We continue in a very delicate moment in which we should all be very concerned. The virus continues to circulate widely, ”said Sierra. Catalonia suffers the greatest healthcare pressure, with a third of its ICU beds occupied by covid patients.
The number of deaths reported from the coronavirus has also registered a slight weekly rebound. The deaths included in the statistics in the last seven days are 99, 13 more than the 86 of the previous week.
That the fifth wave will still last a few more weeks is also shown by other indicators such as positivity (the percentage of diagnostic tests that detect the virus). The average positivity in Spain is 15.1%, although in Catalonia it exceeds 20% and in Navarra, Aragon and Castilla y León it is close to those levels.
Young people gather on the Barceloneta beach, in Barcelona, on July 16. Lorena Sopêna / Europa PressThe young, the most infected
By age group, that of the twentysomethings is one more week the one with the highest incidence, with 1,794 cases, although in Catalonia, Navarra, Castilla y León and Asturias this rate far exceeds 3,000 cases. This means that almost one in 30 twenty-somethings has tested positive in the last 14 days. The second group with the most infected is adolescents between 12 and 19 years of age (1,488).
Despite the fact that the vast majority of cases in these age groups are very mild or asymptomatic, the volume of infected is so large that admissions to the ICU are becoming frequent and some deaths are even beginning to occur. In Catalonia, for example, this Sunday there were 14 twenty-somethings and two adolescents admitted to intensive care and the death of a person under 29 years of age was recorded.
Of particular concern to health officials is the increase in the incidence in older age groups, especially those of the almost one million people aged 60 to 69 years who have yet to receive the second dose of AstraZeneca and a similar figure among those in the 40 to 49 range years. Studies published to date have shown that with the complete regimen, vaccines against the delta variant, which is already dominant in most of Spain, are equally effective. But also that it increases the risk of hospitalization when only a puncture has been received.
In the last seven days, the incidence among the 60 to 69 age group has jumped from 112 cases to 232 per 100,000 inhabitants and from 125 to 237 cases among the 50 to 59 year old population.