20% of infections in Catalonia are of the Indian variant
Health says that the mutation will become dominant soon and asks the population confidence in vaccines
BarcelonaThe epidemiological evolution supports the "rational" de-escalation that the Catalan Government has been carrying out over the past few weeks, which will be accelerated with the reopening of nightlife as of Monday. But the threat of the Delta variant (originating in India), which the data indicate that it is more transmissible and is partially inmune to vaccines, calls for caution. "For weeks we have been explaining that this variant is gaining ground and we know it will end up being dominant," Masó admitted. Last week this mutation represented 12% of the cases analysed and this week is already around 20%.
"It is very likely that, if not this month, then by July it will be predominant," corroborated the head of the Microbiology Service of the Hospital Vall de Hebron, Tomàs Pumarola. He warned that authorised vaccines do not protect as much against contagion in the case of the delta variant, but they are effective in preventing its serious effects. As with this circulating mutation it is easier to become infected even if you are vaccinated, Pumarola has recommended in an interview with Rac1 that the administration of the second dose is advanced to ensure the "total protection" of the population, since the effectiveness of the first "is much lower" compared to the full guideline.
For this reason, the Department of Health has decided to advance the second dose for the population aged 60 to 69. The department had chosen to administer the second shot as late as possible, in accordance with AstraZeneca's recommendations of administering it between ten and twelve weeks after the first. This is because the immune response of the vaccinee will increase with time.
However, the threat of the Indian variant has meant the Health Department prefers not to take risks and complete protection of this vulnerable group immediately. At the moment, only 10% of this age group has the full guideline and, given that the campaign is agile and people begin to see a progressive "normalization" of their lives, the Health Department has asked the population to trust in vaccines.
450 new diagnoses per week
The advance of the Indian variant has not slowed the epidemiological improvement. The number of new infections, with approximately 450 diagnoses per week, continues to decline and hospitals are also gradually emptied of coronavirus patients: on Wednesday there were 512 coronavirus patients, 5% of the total admitted to hospital wards. As for the intensive care units (ICU), there are 179 covid patients. This represents one in four admitted to the critical care area.