Easter and the end of the mask bring the seventh wave closer

The mask ceased to be mandatory indoors on April 20. / CR

The cumulative incidence among those over 60 years of age reaches 676 cases, 60% more than on April 8

Alvaro Soto

Spain is facing the seventh wave of covid-19 with an accumulated incidence that has skyrocketed after Easter and the end of the mandatory use of the mask indoors. This indicator in those over 60 years of age, the only one that is measured in the current phase of 'flu' of the pandemic, stood at 676.43 cases this Friday, 68 more than Tuesday and 60% more than the April 8 (426.15), the last day it was measured before Easter Sunday. In addition, it is very likely that it will continue to grow in the coming days, since the seven-day incidence is at 382.15 cases, more than half that of fourteen.

The situation differs by autonomous community, and half of Spain has an incidence in the vulnerable population of over a thousand cases. According to this Friday's report from the Ministry of Health, Navarra has the worst data, with 1,440 cases, and behind it are Asturias (1,282), Murcia (1,228), Galicia (1,199), Castilla y León (1,164), La Rioja (1,147), Extremadura (1,130) and Cantabria (1,085). On the other hand, Andalusia (402 cases), Catalonia (433) and Melilla (483) mark the national minimums.

The number of infections has also increased notably in the last week, coinciding with the end of the masks and taking into account, in addition, that tests are no longer carried out on the entire population, but only on those over 60, the population vulnerable and to suspicious cases determined by doctors. Still, 62,695 people have been infected in the last three days, 13,500 more than the 49,143 reported last Friday. Total infections since the beginning of the pandemic rise to 11,896,152, according to official statistics.

However, despite the increase in incidence and infections, hospitals resist and occupancy figures even fall. Covid patients represent 5.12% of all hospital beds (5.22% on Tuesday) and 3.66% of ICUs (4.05%). Currently, 6,362 coronavirus patients are admitted to the plant, of which 329 are in intensive care. In addition, Health has recorded 229 deaths since Tuesday, which places the total number of deaths since March 2020 with a positive test at 104,456.

Experts agree that the end of masks and Easter have increased the risk of contagion. “And we will probably see it even more after the Seville Fair and other similar festive events if we do not act prudently,” says José Martínez Olmos, an expert in Public Health and former Secretary General of Health between 2005 and 2011. "It is difficult to predict a new wave, but it is very likely that in the coming weeks the incidence figures will continue to grow and that is why it is worth noting that the mask is useful for prevention," he adds.

Marcos López Hoyos, president of the Spanish Society of Immunology, speaks along the same lines. “With the end of the quarantines and the mask, the message that has been transferred to the population is that the virus was already gone and no, the virus continues to circulate,” underlines this specialist, who believes that protection was had to have withdrawn "ten or fifteen days after Easter". López Hoyos points out that the incidence in the general population is well above that of those over 60 years of age, but explains that "thanks to the high levels of vaccination, with a third dose, the increase in infections is not yet punishing those hospitals”.

Regarding a possible general reversal in the relaxation of the measures, as Asturias has already done, which retests all suspected cases, López Hoyos recalls that the European Union is already asking countries to try to control the virus. "You can go out and have a social life, but we can't be confident," he asserts.

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