Society 07/07/2021

Hospitals to test for covid to decongest Health Centres

Health Dpt has detected 25 outbreaks in nightclubs

2 min
The multipurpose hospital that was built in Bellvitge Hospital during the coronavirus pandemic

BarcelonaThe avalanche of covid cases - more than 7,000 in the last hours - and tests for close contacts have saturated the primary care centres and the Department of Health has decided on Wednesday that hospitals will also enable points to make diagnostic tests. Health minister Josep Maria Argimon has admitted "a lot of concern" for health centres in an interview on Tv3 and has indicated that support from hospital staff will help ease the pressure health centres have been experiencing over the past fortnight, especially in Barcelona and its metropolitan area. The assistant to the direction of primary care of the Institut Català de la Salut (ICS), Ariadna Mas, has explained on Catalunya Ràdio that tents will be set up outside health centres to test positive contacts and thus avoid risk of contagion inside the facilities. "We need many hands for testing and diagnosis," she explained.

The incidence of covid in Catalonia continues to grow and is already at around 445 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. In fact, the virus is spreading at a faster rate than in previous waves and leaves infection figures only comparable to those of the first wave. The rate of infection (Rt), which estimates how many people are infected from a single case, exceeds 3 and, therefore, each infected person infects at least three more people. This reproduction rate is even higher among young people: in the 15-29 age group it is between 8 and 10. This explains why in the last 14 days there has been a runaway incidence, with 1,600 infections per 100,000 inhabitants.

In addition, the outbreak of infections has increased hospitalisations in the covid plants, with 35 more entries than on Tuesday, which brings the total to 610 covid in regular wards. Admissions to intensive care units (ICU) remain stable at 133 infections and no deaths have been reported on Wednesday.

Argimon also reported that the Public Health Agency has identified 25 covid outbreaks related to nightlife. Even so, he wanted to emphasise that the spread of the virus has occurred in "leisure in general" and not only in nightclubs, especially in the way in which the population relates: indoors, at home or in the street but without respecting safety distances or mixing bubble groups. However, the Government announced on Tuesday the closure of nightlife in enclosed spaces. To reopen, he said, partygoers will need to take an antigen tests a few hours before accessing the premises.