Coronavirus
Society 12/07/2022

Seventh wave recedes with 40,500 infections a week

Health Dpt forecasts are met but with fewer hospitalisations than expected

3 min
Tourists strolling through the center of Barcelona this summer.

BarcelonaHealth authorities' forecasts have been met: the seventh wave's number of cases began to fall after reaching its peak between June 27 and July 3 with 40,500 weekly cases. According to data from the Information System for the Surveillance of Infections in Catalonia (Sivic), 34,447 positive cases were diagnosed in the last seven days, about 6,000 fewer than the previous week, and the rate of new hospital admissions is stabilising at around 2,000 admissions. Occupancy in intensive care units (ICU) is not growing either, with about fifty seriously ill patients, nor is mortality, with about sixty deaths per week.

Based on the data on variants' contagiousness, the current incidence in people over 60 years of age and the epidemiological behaviour in neighbouring countries where the wave started earlier, the Department of Health and the Computational Biology and Complex Systems Group (Biocom) anticipated that the peak of the seventh wave would arrive between the second and third week of July. In addition, they estimated there would be between 14,000 and 21,000 daily visits to health centres and between 2,000 and 3,000 hospitalisations could be registered, of which between 60 and 80 would be treated in ICUs. Although they were right about the timing, the impact has been slightly lower than expected.

hThe hospital wards have seen a maximum of 2,139 patients at any one time, some 124 fewer than a week ago – although it should be borne in mind that in conventional wards no distinction is made between covid patients and those who are infected with covid but are being treated for other issues, such as a broken leg. Eighty percent are people aged 60 or older with decompensated underlying pathologies. As for ICUs, at the peak of contagions, 60 patients in critical condition were treated, who in this case were directly affected by the virus. This Tuesday there are 50 and, therefore, the indicator is moving away from the 150 patients the The hospital wards have seen a maximum of 2,139 patients at any one time, some 124 fewer than a week ago – although it should be borne in mind that in conventional wards no distinction is made between covid patients and those who are infected with covid but are being treated for other issues, such as a broken leg. Eighty percent are people aged 60 or older with decompensated underlying pathologies. As for ICUs, at the peak of contagions, 60 patients in critical condition were treated, who in this case were directly affected by the virus. This Tuesday there are 50 and, therefore, the indicator is moving away from the 150 patients the head of the Catalan Health Department, Josep Maria Argimon, proposed as a possible threshold to start thinking about bringing back the mask mandate for indoor spaces.

Work-related sick leave still on the rise

Weekly sick leave due to acute respiratory infections, among which is covid, have rebounded slightly in recent days and have gone from 15,879 on July 4 to 17,121 this Sunday. Last Wednesday, the new system of automated sick leave due to symptoms compatible with covid , which makes it possible to request sick leave online without having to ask the family doctor for it and which will last a maximum of five days, came into force last Wednesday. This is a temporary measure that will be applied only in July and August in order to decongest the health centres, since last week there was already an incipient slowdown in the rate of new diagnoses.

The increase in the number of cases is marked by the predominance of the new omicron variants, BA.4 and BA.5, but also the one called centaur. These are more contagious subvariants, but nothing indicates they are more serious and are already detected in practically all the samples sequenced in Catalonia.

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