Catalonia defines situation in hospitals as very critical

by Lorraine Williamson
Catalonia hospitals under pressure

CATALONIA – Despite the expectation to have now passed the peak, regional minister Josep Maria Argimon of Catalonia warns of the rapidly increasing pressure on hospitals. In just two weeks, the number of occupied IC beds for covid care in this region tripled. 

At the moment, 440 covid patients need intensive care in Catalonia. This means, among other things, that non-urgent surgical care has to be postponed again in most hospitals. Furthermore, the increase in the number of hospital admissions comes in the middle of the holiday period. Therefore, fewer healthcare staff are available. 

More than 500 IC recordings 

For a month, infection numbers in Catalonia have been rising at a similar pace as during the first corona wave. According to Argimon, the increase in the number of infections is currently decreasing, but there are still too many. With pressure increasing daily, the minister expects more than 500 ICU covid patients will be admitted by the end of this week. 

With the campaign ‘Uno de cada tres’ (one in three), the regional Ministry of Health warns about the consequences of Covid-19 for residents under the age of 40. “Young people are not immune from the consequences of the virus,” said Minister Argimon. 

Nightlife will remain locked for the time being 

Due to the unfavourable figures, the regional government is extending the already tightened measures by at least another week. In 165 Catalan municipalities (which together cover 80% of the region) there is a curfew and a maximum group size of 10 people. The nightlife also remains closed. Government spokesman Patrícia Playa said the nightlife will remain closed for at least a few more weeks. And that it is not yet clear when this restriction will expire. However, given the current situation, Playa assumes that clubs and discotheques will remain closed all summer. 

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Number of infections is decreasing 

The peak in Catalonia seems to have passed: fewer infections were registered in the past seven days than in the seven days before and the percentage of positive test results has not increased either. With 66 more patients in hospitals this week than a week, the peak is yet to come. Now there are 1,938 covid patients in a Catalan hospital. 

The incidence in the past seven days was 603.59 cases per 100 thousand inhabitants. The regional government has defined a threshold of 400 for setting a curfew. That is three times the threshold set by the Ministry of Health for a ‘very high risk’ situation. 

The death rate from Covid-19 is still increasing in Catalonia, but is no longer comparable to the death rate in previous epidemiological waves. Last week 51 deaths were registered, that is more than in the week before. 

In terms of vaccinations, 53.3% of Catalan residents are now fully vaccinated and 61.3% have at least received their first shot. Last Wednesday, 64,505 people were vaccinated in this region. 


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