At a tense moment in which the decline of the third wave of Covid has slowed in Catalonia, the community performs 160,000 fewer diagnostic tests per week than it did nearly a month ago. On January 27, when Catalonia had been reducing infections for 10 days and lowering the risk of regrowth from 847 to 629 due to the third wave, Salut reported that in a week 384,276 PCR tests and rapid antigen tests had been carried out. The effort to monitor the virus then made it possible to detect 6.79% of people infected among all those tested. Since then, the community has been reducing the number of diagnostic tests for 26 days, arriving this Monday to notify 224,991 tests, of which 5.11% are positive, a figure that begins to rise after several days decreasing.
Those responsible for the strategy to fight the coronavirus recognize the concern, because hospital pressure continues to be very high. On the one hand, the Procicat extended the bulk of the restrictions in Catalonia last Friday; while, on the other hand, the Minister of Health, Alba Vergés recognized this Monday the “fragility” of the moment that the pandemic is experiencing in the community. The minister warns that the speed of propagation (Rt) could once again exceed 1 – in a week it has gone from 0.82 to 0.95-.
If the slowdown and the start of a constant upward path that could turn into a fourth wave is confirmed and maintained, Vergés warns that this would be “very dramatic”, since the third has turned out to be very hard at the hospital and care level. “We must allow time for the healthcare pressure to drop and the number of vaccinated to grow,” he says, recalling, in an interview on TV3, that “we are in key weeks”.
For the moment, hospitals are picking up again slightly, probably due to the fact that fewer discharges are granted on weekends than on Monday to Friday. 58 more people have been notified on the ward, 2,029 in total, while there are 588 people in the ICU, 5 less than last Sunday.
Despite the braking, the new positives continue to fall, although they are already doing so at a very slow pace. 708 new infected have been reported, bringing the total to 547,107. The accumulated incidence has fallen nine points to 284, although the four hundredths of the increase in the speed of spread has caused the risk of regrowth to grow for the first time in a month to 263, two points more than last Sunday. Salut has also reported 36 more deaths since the last report, bringing the total to 20,506 people.
While waiting to know if the flood could become a consolidated trend or a slight stumble on the way down, both cases and those hospitalized and deceased in residences have dropped drastically because they were the first group to be protected with the first vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna. The rate of vaccination, however, has plummeted, probably because it was yesterday Sunday. In 24 hours, only 545 people have been vaccinated between the first and second doses.