Hospitalizations for covid grow close to 70% in just under a month

Since last March 23, just over a month ago, the pandemic officially entered its final phase – at least in its management aspect. Quarantines for people positive for coronavirus, but who passed the disease mildly or asymptomatically, were no longer mandatory. This situation leaves hospitalizations as the best —and only— indicator of the evolution of the covid and hospitals are beginning to alert: since April 2, when the lowest number of hospitalized patients on the ward was recorded after the sixth wave, these have grown nearly 70%, at a higher rate than in previous waves. And the mobility of Holy Week is not yet perceived in the data.

The vast majority of cases requiring hospitalization in recent weeks were infected after the relaxation of quarantines. In this new scenario —which, together with the recent elimination of the mask, is approaching the total influenzaization of the disease— isolation is only still mandatory for serious cases and the vulnerable population; groups, in addition, to whom the performance of PCR and diagnostic tests in medical centers are reserved. Measuring incidences, positivity or number of cases no longer shows the reality of the disease.

In hospitals, however, the relaxation of the measures is beginning to have its consequences. While on April 2, Spain registered the lowest number of hospitalized patients —3,626 both on the ward and in ICUs with or without a respirator—, today the number increased by more than 68% to nearly 6,100. It is the highest increase in admissions for covid in such a short time since the fifth wave, in June of last year, when in the same period those hospitalized tripled.

At the moment, and thanks to the vaccines, the peaks registered at the beginning of this year seem to be far away, although there are fewer and fewer restrictions to stop a possible increase. Despite the fact that hospitalizations grow, the cases that are serious continue to be contained. For the first time in the entire pandemic, those who require admission to intensive care units, whether in beds with or without assisted ventilation, remain stable or even slightly down despite the increase in infections and patients on the ward.

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In the last 20 days recorded, in which the increase in patients in hospitals has begun to be registered, patients in intensive care unit beds have dropped by 11%, although it seems that the decline is beginning to moderate. At other times, the growth in the plant also translated into the beginning of the boom in the ICUs: in the first three weeks of the fifth wave, patients in the ICU grew by 40.5%; and in the sixth, 11.5%.

The number of patients who are more seriously ill, those who require assisted breathing, have slowed their decline. While in the same period studied, in the fifth wave, occupancy in these beds grew by nearly 50% and in the sixth wave, almost 10%, today they are down just over 1.3% throughout the country.


Those over 80 are the group with the most income from Covid in the last week

This is mainly due to the fact that, as indicated by the data on confirmed daily cases of covid-19 among people over 60 years of age —collected in daily reports by SiVIRA—, in the last week the age group in which The rate of hospitalization for covid grows the most is among those over 80 years of age. The incidence of infections in this group is around 390 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

At the moment, the rise in hospitalizations does not imply, for the time being, a significant strain on the health system, although the indicators do not invite the greatest optimism in this regard. Despite this, the daily monitoring of cases is maintained for the most vulnerable groups and for the most serious.

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Ismael Arana Hong Kong Correspondent


Far away are the detailed analysis of all incidents and daily cases—the Segrià region, in Catalonia, has, for example, an incidence similar to the one that in 2020 led the Generalitat to decree its perimeter closure for 15 days— . Despite having only been without them for a week, the constant use of masks is also far away. The pandemic, however, has not yet closed its last door.

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