With 40% occupancy of IC beds by covid patients, the pressure on Spanish hospitals remains high. However, the increase in new infections shows a downward trend across Spain in the past two weeks.
The average incidence of infection in Spain is now 540 covid-19 cases per 100 thousand inhabitants. This is lower than two weeks ago, but still points to “extreme risk”, according to the Ministry of Health and Autonomous Communities.
Numbers are declining across the country, with the curve dropping most in the regions of La Rioja, Valencia and Castile and León. In no region has the incidence in the past two weeks exceeded 800 per 100 thousand inhabitants. Valencia still has the highest covid-19 incidence despite the declining curve at just over 777. According to data from the Spanish government, only the Canary Islands has a “moderate” risk.
Pressure on Spanish hospitals must reduce
The pressure on intensive care units is greatest in the La Rioja region with over 63% occupancy by covid-19 patients. Other regions with a high rate are: Valencia (52%), Castile and León (over 50%), Madrid (over 50%), Castile-La Mancha (46%) and Catalonia (44%). A total of 23,500 people are now hospitalised with covid-19, occupying 18.27% of the total hospital capacity in Spain. Whilst this percentage is declining, all other care continues to be postponed and health workers are becoming exhausted.
Warning against easing too quickly
The World Health Organization (WHO) advises Spain not to prematurely reduce strict corona measures. Several regions are announcing they will be implementing easing. In Castile-La Mancha, for example, bars and restaurants can reopen their doors from Friday.
Director Fernando Simón of the corona crisis center fully supports the WHO recommendation and also warns of the consequences of a premature de-escalation. With a view to the upcoming Semana Santa and tourist high season, Simón said: “Relaxation of the measures should never be based on data, but only on the level of contamination. If the figures fall sharply soon, we will not have to wait until Semana Santa to relax. On the other hand, relaxation is only recommended when the figures actually fall”.
More than 10% positive tests
10.36% of PCR tests in Spain are positive. This is slightly above the 10% threshold set by the government as a high risk threshold – a situation where strict corona measures are required. The WHO has set a rate of 5% as an indication that the spread of the coronavirus is under control. This is currently not the case in any autonomous region.
Most infections in Catalonia, Madrid and Andalucia
Catalonia, Madrid and Andalucia have the greater number of registered corona infections in Spain. 60% of the total number of infections in Spain is in these three regions. Spain recorded a total of 1,689 deaths in the last week.