Misc 18/01/2021

Hospitals near second wave peak with 2,809 admissions for covid-19

Health Department reports 129 new deaths and decreases in Effective Potential Growth (654, 40 points less than yesterday) and the speed of contagion (1.31, 8 hundredths less)

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Diverses persones passejant pel centre de Barcelona

BarcelonaThe covid-19 pandemic continues to advance in Catalonia, as indicated by the data updated daily by the Department of Health. This Monday, according to the Health Department's data, pressure on healthcare in Catalonia continues growing due to the third wave. Thus, the number of patients affected by covid-19 who need a critical bed in Catalan hospitals continues to increase: there are currently 550 people (2 more than yesterday), a figure that had not been reached since 18 November.

In addition, as happened yesterday, the number of hospitalisations has risen again: there are 2,809 patients with coronavirus, 129 more than yesterday. This data on patients in Catalan hospitals is close to the highest recorded during the second wave: the worst day in terms of admissions was 8 November, with 2,811 beds occupied by covid patients.

The head of Epidemiology at the Hospital Clínic, Antoni Trilla, said that if the current trend is not reversed, the ICUs will be saturated. "That will happen for sure, I don't know if it will be this week or in 10 days," he told Radio 4 and TVE 2. Even so, he said he would wait a few days before deciding whether to tighten the measures, and especially before declaring total lockdown. "You have to see whether it is going to accelerate or brake, and then decide whether you want to brake harder or brake completely," he said.

With regard to infections, on Monday the Health Department reported 2,465 new cases confirmed by PCR or antigen test, although only 709 were in the last 24 hours (a figure that will surely rise in the coming days once all the positives have been reported). In total, since March, 423,193 people have been infected in Catalonia. In addition, there are 179 new deaths from the virus, a figure that brings the total number of victims since the beginning of the pandemic to 18,141.

Lower EPG and Rt

Unlike what happened last week, Effective Potential Growth (EPG) and the speed of contagion (Rt) are decreasing. Whilst yesterday EPG rose 17 points, today it dropped by 40 (although it is still at very high levels: 754 points). The speed of contagion is also decreasing: now it is at 1.31, 8 hundredths less than yesterday. This means that, on average, every 100 people infected by covid-19 infect a further 131.

As for the vaccination campaign, yesterday 4,428 people were vaccinated in Catalonia. In total, 144,801 people have been vaccinated.

Trilla, asked about the elections, considered the postponement of the elections to be a "correct" decision from a health point of view, but considered that in the 21st century it should be possible to guarantee the vote in ways other than in person.