After several months of continuous decline in the number of cases and hospitalizations, a very slight change in trend began on June 16 that initially did not worry anyone but It ended up becoming a wave of positives only comparable to that of January of this year. That day, the cumulative incidence in seven days was 43.09 cases per 100,000 inhabitants and there were several regions below 25. Among them, the highly touristy Balearic Islands and the Valencian Community.
To what extent the situation has changed can be seen in the fact that These communities are currently at 346.21 and 284.16 respectively, while Catalonia, which that day reflected an incidence in fourteen days of 98.73, is now 1145.23 … and that the downward trend in that region is the most marked in the entire country.
In fact, just as Catalonia pulled national incidence for many weeks, right now is the main explanation for the decline we have seen this weekend: This may have to do with the change in protocol whereby diagnostic tests are no longer performed on close contacts of other positives, but the fact that positivity is also decreasing makes us optimistic.
Catalonia drops this Monday the cumulative incidence in seven days from 525.04 to 498.39, which helps the rest of the country just rise from 338.10 to 338.94 although the accumulated incidence in fourteen days still shows the past inertia (700.10 by 677.67 from last Friday). This slowdown is a necessary first step to stop the bleeding that we began to see in total hospitalizations (9,384 by 6,482 from last Monday, a rise of 44.77%) and above all in ICU beds (from 1,039 to 1,490, 43.41% more).
As if that were not enough, the autonomous communities have reported in the last week a total of 254 deaths, which means a projection of 1,088 per month, an amount that no one expected to see at this point. Although the figure is much higher than we would like, it must be remembered that in Spain a total of 593,023 cases have been reported in these forty days.
Following the mortality on case of the past months (1.9% according to data from the Ministry of Health itself), we would be talking about a projection of 11,267 deaths, ten times more than we expect. Obviously, this saving in deaths can only be attributed to the excellent vaccination work that has been done in our country, both by the Government and the different autonomous communities and, above all, by citizens.
Although in Spain there is an anti-vaccine movement that borders on delirium at times, The truth is that it has hardly influenced the vaccination process as it has, for example, in the United States and the United Kingdom. This explains that, although these countries started their vaccination process earlier and soon had appreciable percentages of complete guidelines, right now they are below Spain in total doses administered and citizens vaccinated.
The latest figures speak of 48.66% of the vaccinated population in the United States compared to 54.64% registered in the United Kingdom and 54.68% in Spain. It is foreseeable that, while the reluctance to get vaccinated among the inhabitants of these two countries continues, this difference will increase even more. In fact, the Spanish figures are really spectacular.
For example these same forty days, Spain has administered 20,034,802 doses, going from 28% of citizens with the complete regimen to the aforementioned 54.68%, practically double. Obviously, this is not enough. The contagions are still too many and we are still seeing dangerous upswings, although hopefully occasional, in areas of Castilla La Mancha or the Basque Country. These infections will lead to hospitalizations and deaths, even in a percentage, as we have seen, much lower than before.
Continuing to vaccinate and finally reach the younger population will be key when it comes to consolidating this change in trend for the rest of the summer and trying to recover some of the foreign tourism. In any case, let us remember that it is a long process, that is, that vaccinating a 20-something today means immunizing them by the end of August or the beginning of SeptemberWhen the summer is over
Meanwhile, in the absence of major measures to restrict social activity – probably meaningful – we can only hold onto vaccines and trust that the promised percentage of 70% by the end of summer will give us a new truce. For now, the important thing is not to fall into any complacency.
Despite the decrease in incidence, 160,828 cases have been registered in the last seven days, which is outrageous. Hospitals still have a week of increased revenue and probably let’s not see a drop in the weekly number of deaths until mid-August, priming itself as it has always been during the pandemic, with the highest risk groups.
Protecting them and protecting ourselves would ensure a good entry into the fall, which promises to be key. We don’t want this virus reproducing at this speed when the cold comes again. We did not do well in 2020 and it does not seem like a good idea to risk seeing what happens in 2021.
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