BARCELONA – Despite the number of new Covid infections in Catalonia decreasing slightly, the hospital ICUs are coming under pressure. On Sunday, 105 Covid patients were admitted to Catalan hospitals, with 16 patients going into intensive care.
Catalonia recorded 2,778 new cases in the past 24 hours (versus 3,809 a day earlier) and three deaths from Covid-19. This brings Catalonia’s death rate since the start of the pandemic to 18,557. A total of 2,958 Covid patients have now been admitted to a hospital in Catalonia, 675 of whom are in an intensive care unit. Almost 50% of all ICU beds in this region are dealing with Covid care.
Curve is dropping
Catalonia’s reproduction number (R), which indicates how quickly the coronavirus is spreading, has dropped by five hundredths to 0.92. That means each infected person causes fewer than one new infection on average. This may be due to the stricter measures introduced by the Catalan government two weeks ago.
The percentage of positive test results has also decreased from 7.68% to 7.37%. The World Health Organization (WHO) considers a percentage of 5% as an indication that the situation is under control. The incident rate (number of cases of infection per 100 thousand inhabitants) also decreased yesterday, but for the past fourteen days is higher at 682.89 than in the preceding fourteen days.
Catalonia has now vaccinated 176,220 people against Covid-19; 6,894 of whom have also received the second dose.
Hospitals in seven regions are reaching maximum capacity
ICUs are approaching their maximum capacity in seven Spanish regions. Across Spain, occupancy by Covid cases was at 37.61% on Friday. In the La Rioja region, where the pressure on hospitals is highest, 79.41% of beds in ICUs have been used for Covid care since last Sunday. In the Valencia region this is 58.65%, Melilla 52.94%, Castile-La Mancha 49.45% and the Balearic Islands 42.30%.
While the pressure on hospitals is below the national average in the Basque Country, Navarra, Murcia, Galicia, Cantabria, Canary Islands, Asturias and Andalucia, the situation is far from acceptable. In Galicia, for example, the situation is currently comparable to that of the first wave in April 2020. Meanwhile, in Andalucia the number of hospital admissions has increased for more than 20 days in a row.
Madrid’s Isabel Zendal pandemic hospital is preparing its third pavilion, creating a further 352 hospital beds from next week. The situation in the Madrid area is currently critical with a total of 5,000 Covid patients in hospital, 600 of them in intensive care.