The unstoppable advance of omicron: in a few weeks it may be the predominant


Spanish pulmonologists have issued the alert: now community transmission of the omicron variant in several communities, so it can be expected that this will be the majority in a few weeks in Spain, displacing the delta. This is indicated to The newspaper of Spain Dr. Sarai Quirós Fernández. "We want to sound the alarm because measurements are relaxing and we see a very high incidence. We are scared and collapsed, "he says. Madrid, omicron is already the predominant variant and, in AndalusiaIt will be in ten or fifteen days.

Quirós Fernández, coordinator of the area of ​​Tuberculosis and Respiratory Infections of the Spanish Society of Pulmonology and Thoracic Surgery (SEPAR) and pulmonologist at the University Hospital of Basurto (Bilbao) ensures that, based on the data they handle from the scientific society, 10% of Covid cases in the Basque Country are already due to the omicron variant. A percentage that would rise to more than 50% in the case of Madrid and it would already reach 20% in communities like Catalonia. Ensures that you are experiencing the first person hospital saturation due to the expansion speed of the new variant.

The Minister of Health, Carolina Darias, said last Thursday, in the Health Commission of Congress, that the prevalence of the omicron variant in Spain is 1% and that "it could already be circulating in our country." According to the head of the department, "Everything indicates" that the boom in cases will continue after Christmas. The SEPAR pulmonologist clarifies that the data provided by the minister contemplate a range of dates until last December 5, before the Constitution Bridge and when the majority variant was the delta.

Majority variant

The scene has completely changed, warns the specialist. Now there is community transmission in several communities. According to his calculations, In a period of "four to six weeks", the omicron could already be the dominant variant in Spain. "It has a greater transmission capacity and a greater risk of vaccine escape," he recalls. For this reason, the doctor herself has asked her colleagues to make an "urgent appeal" to take extreme precautions and, to the health authorities, to accelerate the campaign of vaccination, both in children and adults. He assures that, in his own hospital, there are several toilets that are beginning to be contagious. "The booster dose is at the end indicated for the entire population," he reiterates.

The Ministry of Health reported 33,359 new coronavirus infections this Friday, 18,773 of them diagnosed in the last 24 hours. Figures much higher than those of the same day a week ago, when 17,012 positives were registered, is evidenced by the rise in the evolution of the pandemic. The cumulative incidence in the last 14 days per 100,000 inhabitants stands at 511.00 cases compared to 472.90 on Thursday. Spain has entered this Friday at very high risk and health workers already fear a new chaos in hospitals and health centers In the next weeks.

The Minister of Health and Families of the Junta de Andalucía, Jesús Aguirre, assured this Friday that the omicron variant "will be the predominant one in ten or fifteen days" in the community because "it is much more contagious", and that" we are already seeing it in the volume of accumulated incidence. "In Madrid, the Deputy Minister of Health Assistance and Public Health, Antonio Zapatero, announced the same day as this variant, capable of multiplying by three the contagion capacity of the virus, is already the majority in the Community of Madrid with more than 50% of cases.

Dr. Quirós Fernández confirms that in recent days there has been an explosion of contagions. If more cases are added to the official figures, it is because "now we are seeing the repercussion that the Bridge has had. And massive events do not stop taking place. From concerts of 10,000 people to football matches ... Until now, nobody thought about it, but It is being confirmed that, even being vaccinated, we are getting infected ", he adds.

Infected toilets

He cites the case of health workers, who have already received the third dose, but who have not yet had time to achieve immunity. With the skyrocketing incidence in some age groups, such as children, those who are still vaccinated now and the arrival of Christmas, the impact of this third hour can be "brutal", warns the pulmonologist.

From SEPAR, they also confirm that, of the patients admitted for coronavirus, the percentage that requires admission to critical or semi-critical units would be higher than that observed in previous waves both in Euskadi and Navarra, two of the communities that present higher incidence of cases. And, finally, they highlight an aspect that doctors have not stopped repeating in recent days: the percentage of people vaccinated with the full schedule, waiting to receive the third booster dose, who are admitted to critical care units is growing, especially in advanced ages and with risk factors.

The covid passport

For this reason, the scientific society, which predicts that if the incidence of cases continues in an ascending line we are doomed to health collapse, urge the different health administrations to take "sufficient and effective" measures. They defend, for example, the implementation of the covid passport to access restaurant and leisure spaces, whether closed or outdoors.

To follow this situation and not to adopt new measures to tackle it, warn pulmonologists, there is "a high probability of once again facing care situations as serious as those experienced in previous waves of this pandemic."

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