Misc 07/01/2021

Health Department confirms a case of the British covid-19 variant in Catalonia

Hospital pressure continues to grow: more than a hundred new hospitalizations are notified

3 min
La nova rutina a la terminal T1 del Prat, en imatges d’aquesta setmana.

BarcelonaThe British covid variant - which is up to 70% more contagious - is already in Catalonia. The Health Minister, Alba Vergés, has confirmed to radio station RAC1 that a first infection of this variant has been detected and that it is not ruled out that there will be more. In fact, the first studies indicate that this SARS-CoV-2 mutation is transmitted much more quickly than the one we have known so far. The first positive case of this new variant that has been confirmed to have finally arrived in Catalonia comes from a UK person who is resident in the country. The Minister has not given more details.

Now a contact study of this first contagion will be made to try to follow to the possible positive infections related to this case. However, Vergés has insisted that "it is likely that there will be more cases": "It was a matter of time", she said. The first case of this coronavirus mutation in Spain was made public on Boxing Day in Madrid.

However, the Minister made it clear that all this "does not change the department's plans" to curb the pandemic, and ratified the reopening of schools on Monday despite the worrying situation has "a very clear welfare impact". And, in fact, the Department has assured that it has never had on the table "any report" from its technicians that said that closing schools was a viable option for the management of the pandemic.

Vergés has also admitted that she knows that "even stricter measures" than those that have come into place this Thursday would work very well, but that "health is not only covid, it is also emotional". However, she does not rule out extending them beyond the ten foreseen days, making them stricter, or even decreeing total lockdown, if necessary. "The restrictions are there to be complied with so that they do not have to be extended or made stricter", she added.

There are still many months ahead of us and "we have to be careful" because "this is not over", the Minister said. She believes that "the best way to prepare is to try to not do any activities" besides school and work, in short, "to make life more boring but more in accordance with the situation".

Hospital pressure grows

The effect of the gatherings and mobility in December continues to increase the pressure on hospitals. On the same day that Vergés confirmed that they had already detected a case of the British variant in Catalonia, the Health Department reported 101 more admissions for covid in Catalan hospitals. Yesterday this same data was of 9 new patients.

The EPG also continues to rise, and today it increases ten points more than yesterday, climbing up to 586 - such a figure had not been seen since November 10. The new cases confirmed by PCR and antigen tests are slightly less, despite the fact that they are still rampant: 2,308 tests came out positive yesterday, which is 8.18% of the total number of tests performed. The average infected person is 43.85 years old, and the majority of those affected are still women, specifically 52.78%.

The number of deaths reported in the last 24 hours due to coronavirus is 48, and at least 17,443 people have died from this cause since the beginning of the pandemic, according to official data from the department.

As for the vaccination campaign, which has already been extended to seven days a week, the data from the Health Department cools down yesterday's optimism. If yesterday the department reported that it had vaccinated 10,368 people in one day, today the figure drops considerably: in the last 24 hours 3,271 citizens have been vaccinated and 24,114 have already received the first dose.