The 'flu' begins with a rebound among those over 80


The first report that does not account for all new infections shows a drop in hospital pressure and adds 323 deaths

Alvaro Soto

Spain officially entered the 'flu' phase of covid-19 this Friday with a rise in the cumulative incidence among those over 80 years of age, the group most vulnerable to the disease. In this group, the incidence rose 19 points since Tuesday and stood at 534.68 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. It fell, however, in the cohort between 70 and 79 (three points, down to 476.77) and in that between 60 and 69 (14 points less, 407.28). The average incidence in those over 60 years of age, the only group for which data will be available from this week, stood at 459.27 cases, according to the report published by the Ministry of Health. The good news is that the seven-day incidence, which allows us to anticipate the evolution of this indicator, is found at 202.92 cases, less than 50% of the 14-day incidence, so it will foreseeably decrease in the next updates.

The new stage of surveillance of the virus in Spain is no longer based on accounting for infections in all age groups, as was the case until now, when detected infections were recorded, without exception. Since last Monday, infections will only be controlled individually in those over 60 years of age, in immunosuppressed people, in pregnant women or in residents of nursing homes. For the rest of the population, the rules in force in the last two years have changed: people with mild symptoms should not be quarantined and it will be the doctors who determine who should undergo diagnostic tests.

In addition to infections in the elderly, the other two indicators that will guide the health authorities for decision-making will be hospital pressure and deaths. In this Friday's update, hospital occupancy continued to improve from previous reports. Covid patients represent 3.34% of ward beds (3.52% last Tuesday) and 4.62% in intensive care units (5.40%). At this time, 4,150 people are hospitalized in Spain for covid and of these, 420 are recovering in ICUs.

Deaths, meanwhile, remain at high levels, above 100 deaths on average each day. Since Tuesday, 323 people have died from covid in Spain, according to data from the department of Carolina Darias. The total number of deaths since the start of the pandemic, with a positive test, rises to 102,541, so that for every 100,000 inhabitants, 845 people have died. The lethality of SARS-CoV-2 among those over 60 years of age is 4.8%.

The Minister of Health, Carolina Darias, once again defended the new coronavirus surveillance model, "of which Spain is a pioneer," she boasted. "We continue to monitor covid, but in a focused way, aimed at the most vulnerable groups or those who work or are in a vulnerable environment," said Darias during a visit to the Foreign Health facilities in the Bahía de Algeciras port (Cádiz).

Spain has taken the step of changing the measurement of covid-19 against the opinion of a good part of epidemiologists, who in recent weeks have demanded caution from the Ministry of Health, especially if one takes into account that the incidence is It is still at high levels, in any case, well above the 50 cases that had been indicated, in the previous 'covid traffic light', as the barrier under which the new normality would be entered. In the last report in which all infections were reported, last Tuesday, the total accumulated incidence was 466.51 cases.

The minister, however, insisted that Spain has been able to enter the new stage, ahead of other European countries, due to the "very high" vaccination rates, with 92.5% of those over 12 years of age with the complete guideline. . Regarding the removal of indoor masks, Darias avoided giving a date and stated that the best time "will be when it is decided."



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