16 patients with covid in the Catalan ICUs, the minimum of the whole pandemic

Never before, since the beginning of the pandemic, had there been so few seriously ill with covid-19 in Catalonia. This Tuesday there were 16 patients in ICU (six less than last week), in addition to 546 in conventional plant (115 less than last week), according to the latest data from the Conselleria de Salut, corresponding to the week of August 22-28. The pandemic has not disappeared, but it is becoming less serious. At the worst moment of the first wave, there were 1,528 patients in ICUs in Catalonia.

The epidemiologist Joan Caylà appreciates the fact that the virus is on the decline, but stresses that there are still 22 deaths per week due to covid-19. “We must continue to lower the number of infections to delay a new wave,” says this member of the Spanish Society of Epidemiology (SEE). “The number of deaths is still very high in the third pandemic year,” adds Caylà.

Despite the decrease in the number of seriously ill patients, the diagnoses of new infections have rebounded slightly and this past week have been recorded 3,071 new cases, all of them from the omicron variant, most of the BA.5 subvariant and some BA.4 and BA.2. In addition, according to Salut, of the 546 people admitted for covid, 406 had over 60 years of age and there are five under 14 years of age.

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Despite this improvement in the covid epidemic situation, the department has warned that during the week of August 22-28, there has been a slight increase in acute respiratory infections (ARI). compared to previous weeks. This is due to the fact that they have detected an increasing trend in the incidence of the influenza virus, with 212 cases diagnosed last week, although it remains at low circulation levels. The respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which causes bronchiolitis, also remains at low levels of circulation, with no change in trend.

Healthcare workers are concerned, in fact, about the coming autumn, which will be the first without a mask. This may bring with it an increase in cases of influenza and other respiratory viruses. In addition, the fact that a large part of the population is not immunized against influenza this season due to the fact that it has hardly existed for the last two years, raises the fear of an increase in contagion. That is why they call, more than ever, to get vaccinated against the flu. Catalonia has already announced in June that it will put this vaccine and the fourth dose of covid-19 together.

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State data

Coronavirus pandemic trend. in Spain is, globally, similar to that of Catalonia. This Tuesday, data from the Ministry of Health indicate that. hospitalized in ucis for covid-19 have dropped by 15.4%: there are 229 people in ICU, 42 fewer than last year. In addition, the number of deaths has risen to 354 in the last week, compared to 340 in the previous week. The high mortality is precisely what worries epidemiologists, who believe that every effort should be made to reduce it. “Imagine, years ago, a Legionella outbreak causing so many deaths per week,” Caylà reflects.

Although ucis are down, Andalusia, Asturias, Murcia and the Basque Country have recorded increases in this indicator. Admissions to the ward, meanwhile, are down in all the autonomous communities, except in Extremadura. Specifically, Health reported on Tuesday that 3,421 people hospitalized in Spain, 642 fewer than on the previous Tuesday.

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