The autonomous communities have notified the Ministry of Health this Friday 162,508 new cases of Covid-19, 65,937 of them diagnosed in the last 24 hours, after the 159,161 infections reported on Thursday. The total number of infections has now risen to 8,093,036 cases since the start of the pandemic. Spain exceeds 8 million infected.
The accumulated incidence has marked the highest peak recorded in Spain since the health crisis began, standing at 3,192.46 infections per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days; and exceeding the maximum recorded to date; Thursday’s 3,156.63 points, but is only up 36 points from the figures reported on Thursday.
Added to this Friday’s report 139 new deaths, a figure higher than that reported in previous days. Up to 90,759 people with a positive diagnostic test have died since the virus arrived in Spain, 503 in the last week.
This Friday, autonomous communities such as Catalonia o la Madrid’s community they have also registered high numbers of infections; 35,333 and 21,277, respectively. The Valencian Community It has closed a week of contagion records with a new historical maximum of the entire pandemic by registering 22,081 positives in a single day. However, hospital pressure has dropped and this Friday there are 31 fewer admitted and seven fewer ICU beds occupied than yesterday.
A new study of European Center for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC) has shown that ómicron was already predominant in Western Europe as early as December.
The countries in which omicron became the dominant variant at that time (representing more than 50% of the viruses sequenced) were Austria (89.4%), Belgium (99.7%), Cyprus (70.7%) , Denmark (95.8%), Finland (99.8%), France (78.6%), Greece (75.5%), Ireland (90.6%), Liechtenstein (76.7%), Lithuania (>90%), Luxembourg (69.6%), Malta (67%), Netherlands (87.4%), Norway (85.7%), Portugal (77.2%), Slovenia (67%) , Spain (54.8%, 2021-52) and Sweden (61.5%, 2022-01).
The ICU admission rate was 1.9 per 100,000 population (countries range between 0.5 and 8.4) and has been stable for six weeks. Upward trends were observed in four countries. In five countries, the ICU admission rate was 50 percent or higher, when compared to data during the peak of the country’s pandemic.
Road to an endemic?
Covid will become an endemic disease by the end of this year, according to the German virologist Christian Drosten, who indicated that vaccinating the entire population every few months is not a viable long-term strategy.
“We wait reach an endemic situation. By the end of the year, we will either have reached it or be practically there,” Drosten said during a press conference in Berlin with Health Minister Karl Lauterbach and the president of the Institute Robert Koch of Virology (RKI), Lothar Wieler.
The virologist at the Charité hospital emphasized the importance of quickly immunizing the largest possible percentage of the population and raised a hypothetical future in which the elderly citizens get a booster dose against covid every fall similar to the annual vaccine against the flu.
“It is not about vaccinating the entire population every few months“, Drosten pointed out, since this is something that “does not work”.
On the contrary, he affirmed, there will come a time when it will be necessary to let the virus itself “update” the population’s immunity, a process that is “more advanced” in other countries.
“The question is whether we can do this already in Germany,” said Drosten, hinting that it is still too early to take that risk.