Tuesday, January 18

Spain breaks another record with almost 100,000 new infections and the incidence reaches 1,360 cases

The pandemic continues to explode in Spain and the peak of contagion from this wave seems still far off. This Tuesday, 99,671 new infections have been registered in the last 24 hours, a jump compared to those notified on Thursday. 72,912. Since last Tuesday, the communities have registered unpublished daily data, worse than those of any previous wave, although it is true that in the first outbreak, in March and April of last year, the testing capacity was much lower than it is now.

All this has led Spain to exceed 6 million infections throughout the pandemic. In total, 6,032,297 people have been infected by coronavirus. Catalonia, with 25,023 new cases; Madrid, which totals 20,798; and Andalusia, with 8,453; They are the communities that add the most positives this Tuesday to the global count.

This exponential rise in infections also dragged the incidence to 14 days, which this Tuesday stood at 1,360.62 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, after jumping 154 points since yesterday. This indicator also marked a historical maximum on Thursday after surpassing the barrier of 900 infections.

As for deaths, whose rise in recent weeks is much more moderate than that of infections, this Tuesday there were 114 more, reaching a total of 89,253 in the entire pandemic.

Five facts about the pandemic for Christmas 2020 and 2021

The appearance of the omicron variant has catapulted the sixth wave above the forecasts of epidemiologists, who pointed to rebounds in the pandemic with figures lower than those of previous peaks. Although it is true that the high contagion of this new strain has caused Christmas celebrations very similar to those of 2020 – if not worse, because last year’s wave began after the holidays and this 2021 exploded just before, so there have been many those who have had to stay isolated in their homes – the general situation in the country is better, according to epidemiologists.

The accumulated incidence at 14 days and the data of daily infections break records, but the high number of infections has not been transferred in the same terms to hospital admissions and deaths. The vaccines work even if they are not perfect, experts recall, and they represent a protection that has led the political class to decree hardly any restrictions, although there are communities that have already begun to implement them, although with less intensity than last year.

More tests and less positivity than a year ago

Daily comparison of tests per 100,000 inhabitants (left axis) and positivity rate (right axis) every week. Click to see the detail

Source: Ministry of Health

The positivity rate is a useful variable to measure whether the diagnostic effort is being sufficient to increase transmission. But it must be borne in mind that it is closely linked to the number of tests that are carried out: whether not enough diagnostic tests are carried out or massive screenings are carried out without epidemiological logic, the positivity will drop. For this reason, it has been more than a year that Health has recommended not to lower this indicator “artificially”.

When, in the midst of the escalation of the second wave, the Community of Madrid changed its protocol to stop testing close contacts of infected people, some experts considered that this strategy was “counterproductive” and “worrying” for monitoring the epidemic.



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