Covid incidence rate in Spain rises into the extreme risk category
Spain’s Covid incidence rate data was published today, Friday, December 17, by the Ministry of Health. It shows that in just over a week, the rate of transmission of coronavirus in Spain has gone from entering into the high-risk level, to reaching that of extreme risk.
That is the highest possible level on the government’s health scale. It now remains to be seen what measures will be taken by the government in view of this situation, just one week before Christmas.
An incidence rate in the last 14 days of 511 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, places the country above the threshold of 500 in which the “very high” risk of virus transmission begins.
In mid-October, the rate was 40, and then the escalation started. Last Thursday, December 9, Spain exceeded 300 cases per 100,000 inhabitants for the first time since the end of August. Since then, in just eight days, the incidence has added another 200 points.
The increase is being blamed on the new Omicron variant, which is believed to be three times more contagious than the previous strains. This morning, Antonio Zapatero, the Deputy Minister of Healthcare and Public Health of Madrid, announced that this variant is already the majority strain in the Community, with more than 50 per cent of the cases.
Despite this rapid increase in transmission, the indicators on healthcare services remain at lower levels, thanks to the impact of vaccinations. The current occupancy of hospital beds stands at 5.35 per cent, levels that place it at medium risk of saturation. ICU beds reportedly have a current occupancy of 14.03 per cent, at the medium risk level.
Earlier this week, Carolina Darias, the Minister of Health, cited vaccinations as the reason for the low percentages of hospitalisation and ICU occupancy. It is almost three times lower than in the second, third, and fourth waves, when vaccines were either not available, or not at the current degree of immunisation that has since been reached. In the case of the deceased, the percentage is almost ten times lower, as reported by abc.es.