Deaths from covid-19 skyrocket despite the decline of the seventh wave

Health reports 545 deaths in the last three days and more than 3,000 since the start of the new onslaught of the virus, at the beginning of June

Alvaro Soto

Epidemiologists are verifying, once again, how a basic rule of the pandemic is fulfilled: an increase in the incidence and infections of covid-19 translates two or three weeks later into an increase in hospitalizations and in another two or three weeks, in a rise in deaths. Thus, now the, in principle, paradoxical situation is taking place that the covid-19 curve in Spain is improving, but the consequences of the growth in infections registered since mid-June is having an impact on the number of deaths, which is has shot up in the latest updates from the Ministry of Health and, especially, this Friday.

According to the documents of the department of Carolina Darias, from Tuesday to Friday, 545 deaths from the coronavirus were reported, the highest figure since Health began to make two reports per week, on March 29, a key date in the calendar of the pandemic, since it represented the beginning of the 'influenza': from that moment on, diagnostic tests are limited to those over 60 years of age and to the vulnerable population. In addition, since the last onslaught of the virus began, on June 7, the ministry has recorded 3,273 deaths.

In this way, July 2022 is emerging as the month with the most deaths since February, when 4,517 deaths were computed. Subsequently, in March, April, May and June, the average number of monthly deaths has remained around 2,000. In global data, covid-19 has left 110,187 deaths since March 2020, according to official statistics, whose criteria may soon be modified.

The data from the Ministry of Health, questioned since the start of the pandemic, now count as deaths from covid an undetermined number of deceased who suffered from the virus, but who also suffered from other pathologies. After the Interterritorial Council on Wednesday, Darias announced that Health will differentiate those hospitalized "for covid" from those admitted "with covid", which will also purge the death records.

Meanwhile, the rest of the pandemic indicators point to a more optimistic horizon. The accumulated incidence in those over 60 years of age, the only one that is measured in 'flu', stood this Friday at 858.24 cases per 100,000 inhabitants at 14 days, 160 less than Tuesday and 367 less than 12 July, when the peak of the seventh wave was reached with 1,225 cases. The incidence falls throughout Spain except in Navarra, where infections increase very significantly after the San Fermín festivities. Last Tuesday, the incidence was at 1,265 points; yesterday, at 2,873.

In general, the decrease in infections is also representing a relief in the hospital situation. Covid patients account for 8.74% of total beds, almost one point less than Tuesday and already well below the 10% that marks the barrier between 'medium risk' and 'high risk' at the 'covid traffic light' ' of Health. The reduction is also noted in intensive care, where coronavirus patients are now 5.91% of all those admitted, compared to 6.30% three days ago. In Spain, 10,489 people are hospitalized for covid, of which 513 are in ICUs.

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