Monday, July 26

Catalonia registers an unprecedented growth of infections in Europe pending new restrictions

The fifth wave of coronavirus in Catalonia continues to break records of infections, more than 42,000 in the last seven days, and increases the number of hospitalized by COVID, which already touches a thousand, and the patients in the ICU. The worsening of the figures will lead the Government to announce in the next few hours new restrictions to try to control an explosion of the virus unprecedented in Europe, as stated this Monday by the professor of drug-epidemiology at the University of Oxford, Daniel Prieto-Alhambra.

“The problem is that growth in Catalonia has been very fast, even more than in the United Kingdom and nowhere else”, declared Prieto-Alhambra in Catalunya Ràdio. “It is growth that we have never seen before,” added the expert, who has linked it to three reasons: the delta variant, more contagious; the almost general decline in restrictions at the end of June; and the “desire to meet again and get together”, especially among the young population.

According to the data updated by the Health department, this Monday there are 980 people hospitalized with COVID-19, 104 more than this Sunday, of which 182 are serious in the ICU, 22 more than the day before, the majority between 44 and 49 years and 60 to 69 without vaccination or who only have one dose of the vaccine.

The speed of spread of the virus (Rt) has slowed down and this Monday is 1.93, a total of 47 hundredths less than the day before, that is, that every 100 infected infect an average of 193 people. On the other hand, the accumulated incidence of cases in the last 14 days per 100,000 inhabitants (IA14) is still growing and is 848 cases, 95 more than the day before.

Prieto-Alhambra has valued that the Government’s decision-making is “difficult” since it is a wave “different” from the previous ones, in which many more cases are seen but the percentage of hospital admissions is lower thanks to the protection of vaccines. However, the professor has been in favor of new “surgical” restrictions to stop community transmission of the virus, since although most cases are diagnosed in young people, the disease can affect more seriously people over 40 years of age with a single dose of vaccine and re-stress the hospital floors and ICUs. At the same time, Prieto-Alhambra has asked citizens for individual responsibility to minimize the impact of the pandemic.

In the context of an upward curve, the president of the Generalitat, Pere Aragonès, found that the epidemic has exploded “explosively” and that cases are beginning to increase significantly in hospitals. “We are not in a good moment,” he warned. It is expected that the Government will announce this Monday or Tuesday new restrictions, which according to Aragonès will try to make a balance with “the social, economic and emotional life” of the population.

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