Spain is facing the seventh wave of Covid-19 with an accumulated incidence that has skyrocketed after Easter and the end of the mandatory use of the mask indoors. This indicator in those over 60 years of age, the only one that is measured in the current phase of ‘flu’ of the pandemic, stood at 676.43 cases yesterday, 68 points more than Tuesday and 60% more than 8 April (426.15), the last day it was measured before Easter Sunday. In addition, the forecast is that it will continue to grow in the coming days.
The epidemiological situation differs by autonomous community, but half of Spain has an incidence in the vulnerable population of over a thousand cases. According to the update published yesterday by the Ministry of Health, Navarra has the worst data in the country, with 1,440 cases, and behind it are Asturias (1,282), Murcia (1,228), Galicia (1,199), Castilla y León (1,164), La Rioja (1,147), Extremadura (1,130) and Cantabria (1,085). On the other hand, Andalusia (402 cases), Catalonia (433) and Melilla (483) mark the national minimums.
The number of infections has also increased notably in the last week, coinciding with the abolition of masks (April 20 was the first day without this limitation) and also taking into account that tests are no longer carried out on the entire population. , but only to those over 60 years of age, to the vulnerable population and to suspected cases determined by doctors. Still, 62,695 people have been infected in the last three days, 13,500 more than the 49,143 reported last Friday. Total infections since the beginning of the pandemic rise to 11,896,152, according to official statistics.
However, despite the increase in incidence and infections, hospitals resist and occupancy figures even fall. Covid patients represent 5.12% of all hospital beds and 3.66% of ICUs. Currently, 6,362 coronavirus patients are hospitalized, of which 329 are in intensive care.
According to the new ‘covid traffic light’, approved at the end of March for the ‘flu’ stage, Spain is at medium risk in the incidence among those over 60 years of age (between 500 and 1,500), in the incidence at seven days ( between 250 and 750) and floor occupancy (between 5% and 10%), but the risk is very low in ICUs.
Experts agree that the end of masks and Easter have increased the risk of contagion. “And we will probably continue to see a similar or even worse situation after the Seville Fair and other similar festive events if we do not act prudently,” says the Public Health expert and former Secretary General of Health between 2005 and 2011 José Martínez Olmos. “It is difficult to predict a new wave, but it is very likely that in the coming weeks the incidence figures will continue to grow and that is why it is worth noting that the mask is useful for prevention,” he adds.
Marcos López Hoyos, president of the Spanish Society of Immunology, speaks along the same lines. “With the end of the quarantines and the mask, the message that has been transferred to the population is that the virus was already gone and no, the virus continues to circulate,” underlines this specialist, who believes that protection was had to have withdrawn “ten or fifteen days after Easter”. López Hoyos points out that the incidence in the general population is well above that of those over 60 years of age, but explains that “thanks to the high levels of vaccination, with a third dose, the increase in infections is not yet punishing those hospitals”.