The arrival of summer, the advance in vaccination against covid-19 and the relaxation of sanitary measures have made the population relax and commit errors that have caused an increase in infections and hospitalizations. Thus, we have entered the fifth wave, which has led several autonomous communities to even request a new curfew.
In Spain, the Ministry of Health notified this Wednesday 27,149 new cases of infected by coronavirus and the cumulative incidence fell for the first time after more than a month of ascent, below 700 cases for every one hundred thousand inhabitants (699, 84). But the death toll in one day has risen to 73, the highest figure in a month and a half. The number of hospitalized due to the virus is very worrying, with 9,672 patients admitted for Covid-19 throughout Spain and 1,593 in an ICU, although in the last 24 hours there have been 1,429 admissions and 1,247 discharges. The occupancy rate for beds occupied by coronavirus stands at 8.08 percent and in ICUs at 17.21 percent.
Some most frequent bad practices that have led us to this fifth wave according to Miguel Fernández, covid-19 coordinator at a health center in the province of Jaén, are:
Relax the use of mask
“The relaxation of sanitary measures has led to an excess of confidence. The virus has not lost its virulence,” Fernández tells 20minutos.
Since last Saturday, June 26 wearing a mask is no longer mandatory outdoors in Spain, as long as the safety distance of one and a half meters can be maintained. “Now we stand on the street with people who are not from our circle and we do not usually put on the mask,” says the nurse.
To avoid confusion when using the mask, it will be useful to know a very simple and easy to memorize rule called ‘two out of three’. The objective is to avoid contagion of covid-19 and for this two of these three conditions must always be met:
- Fresh air
If one of them is not fulfilled, then the other two must be respected. Thus, when we are outdoors and without a mask, we will be respecting one of the three conditions, so it will only be necessary to fulfill another: either maintain the social distance of one and a half meters with the rest of the people or, if it is not possible, put on the mask.
Relying too much on the vaccine
“The delta variant has a much greater contagion power than the first one we met and it remains to be seen whether the vaccine is effective in combating it,” says the coordinator. The characteristics of the fifth wave and mass vaccination have led to an increase in positive asymptomatic or with very mild infections whose symptoms run the risk of being confused with colds or allergies, which favors the spread.
“Let us remember that the vaccine does not save us from getting infected and we are seeing how people with the complete vaccination schedule are having mild symptoms with the new delta variant“, says Fernández.” Of course, vaccination has improved the health outlook, but we cannot forget to continue to be cautious, “he warns.
Meetings with acquaintances
“There has been an increase in close contacts when someone is positive,” says Fernández. “Before, in the second and third waves, the contacts were mostly familiar. Now there are massive meetings with people who are not from the close circle.”
According to the coordinator, this is a practice that it is observed especially in young people: “It may have been a mistake by the health authorities and we must assume our responsibility. We have not been able to communicate the message that young people can also have a very bad time. We are seeing an increase in hospitalizations in children from 15 years of age.”
Quarantines are not respected
Another thing that health workers detect is that quarantines are not being performed correctly, in particular point out three circumstances:
- Asymptomatic positives: “Many of the positives who do not have symptoms do not usually comply with the strict quarantines. After six or seven days there are many irresponsible people who skip them.”
- Positives with a negative test: “There are people who have symptoms, but in antigen tests they are negative. We recommend quarantine or greatly strengthen their social relationships because in a few days they tend to become positive.”
- Quarantines of close contacts: “This circumstance is undoubtedly the most common. A high percentage of close contacts that test negative do not keep the mandatory quarantine.”
Events that do not respect the measures
On the other hand, it points out that events and nightlife they have favored the relaxation of precautions. “Not all venues are the same, but undoubtedly the massive concerts and nightlife have led to a feeling of immunity, that covid-19 no longer exists,” laments Fernández.