VALENCIA – The long weekend of early December, the Puente de la Constitución, increases the number of infections in the Valencia region, especially in the larger cities. Valencia city is heading for ‘extreme risk’ level.
The number of cases is also increasing rapidly in Alicante and Elche. The regional newspaper Las Provincias writes that the long weekend of December was ‘devastating’ for the Valencian Community. Coronavirus infections have skyrocketed and the region map region almost entirely covered dark red as a sign of high risk.
The number of hospital admissions, while not reaching last year’s figure, have multiplied. Since Sunday, there have been 717 admissions, of which 109 were in critical units.
Increase in major capitals
One of the data of concern is the increase in cases in the major capitals. The city of Valencia already has an incidence of 406 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, putting it still 94 points from the border to an ‘extreme risk’ situation. Analysis of the city’s sewage water a few days ago indicated that the virus had multiplied and that the data would show a steady increase in infections in the coming days.
Alicante and Elche, which were subject to a medium risk situation until this update, have also just crossed the border into the ‘high risk’ area. Alicante has had a rate of 331 positives per 100,000 inhabitants in the past two weeks. In the capital Elche it is almost 331 positives.
Castellón, the provincial capital with the highest infection rate in recent weeks, is already in the ‘extreme risk zone’ with an incidence of 655 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days.
Municipalities such as Torrent (287 cases per 100,000 inhabitants), Paterna (354), Torrevieja (446), and Orihuela (277) have found themselves in a worrying situation after the latest update. Gandia and Benidorm, with 815 and 674 cases respectively, have been at extreme risk for days. Alcoi has also entered the area of extreme risk with 660 cases per 100,000 population.
Looking at the map of the region of Valencia, which is coloured by municipality according to the level of risk, it is striking that most municipalities on the coast are at high risk. There, more than 250 cases per 100,000 inhabitants have been registered in the past 14 days.
Still moderate situation in hospitals
Looking at the evolution of cases and whether hospitals are able to handle the flow of patients with complications due to the coronavirus, it is clear that the situation is not comparable to that of a year ago. Despite the increase in positives, the uptake in the Covid wards and the ICUs is moderate.
Average incident went up a lot last weekend
The average incidence in the Valencian Community is 440 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, 60 points away from the extreme risk phase. A figure that is up 76 points since the last update due to the nearly 6,700 positives reported this weekend.
In the region, Covid patients occupy 5.45% of total hospital beds, and that ICUs are 13% occupied with coronavirus patients, health ministry data shows.
High positivity rate
One of the most disturbing aspects is that more than 13% of the tests taken are positive. That is the highest positivity rate in Spain and 4 points above the national average. To get the virus under control, the percentage should be 5%, according to the World Health Organisation.
Positives by age group
Most infections are diagnosed in the region under the age of 12, with 645 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. However, from Wednesday, the Spanish regions will start vaccinating children from this age group.