The occupation of corona patients in the intensive care unit of Spanish hospitals is falling. IC occupancy has fallen below the 10% limit for the first time since August. Nevertheless, some hospitals in Spain are sounding the alarm.
On Monday, the Spanish news site RTVE wrote the percentage of ICU beds occupied by Covid patients is currently at 9.69%. With this percentage, there is a ‘low risk’ in Spain when it to occupation of ICUs. In comparison, during the third wave, on average 45% of ICU beds in Spain were occupied with corona patients.
Madrid only Spanish region with ‘high risk’ in intensive care units
Only Madrid is still struggling with an ICU occupancy of corona patients of 20%, putting the region as ‘high risk’. A number of Spanish regions even have occupancy rates below 5%, namely Valencia, Extremadura, Galicia, the Canary Islands, Murcia and the Balearic Islands.
Total IC occupancy throughout Spain still high
Over the past year and a half, it almost seems as if Covid-19 was the only disease. Of course, there are not only corona patients in the ICUs. In fact, the IC occupancy for all of Spain has not fallen below 40% since August 2020. Currently, there is an average ICU occupancy of 45% in intensive care units in Spain.
For this reason, some hospitals are calling for a hospitalisation stop to prevent the situation from spiraling out of control again, if and when the next corona outbreak occurs. The situation is especially dire in Madrid. However, the situation is also worrying in the regions of Catalonia, the Basque Country and Aragon.
What about herd immunity in Spain?
Director Fernando Simón of the corona crisis center in Spain spoke about the situation during a press conference on Monday. Simón was asked about the so-called ‘herd immunity’ and whether the end of the pandemic is in sight given the successful vaccination campaign.
Simón: “At the moment we are getting closer to the 70% to 75% of the Spanish population who will be vaccinated. However, we are still in a risky situation that the younger target groups have not yet been vaccinated in Spain.”
“Different when a 95-year-old dies from Covid-19 than a 20-year-old”
He continues: “Not everyone will agree with this statement, but it is really different when a 95-year-old dies from the virus than a 20-year-old. The effect of an infection among young people may be less serious, but the risk they become quite ill or even die is still present. And that’s why we have to stick to the measures in force for a while.”
The incidence (the number of people who test positive per 100,000 inhabitants) in Spain continues to fall. On Monday, the Spanish health minister reported there have been 104.56 cases per 100,000 inhabitants over the past 14 days. This figure has not been this low since August 13, 2020.