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Closure of bars 'begin to take effect' as Covid-19 transmission rate drops

Sharp rise of outbreak risk and number of daily new diagnoses stopped


02 November 2020 11:18 AM


ACN | Barcelona

The measures to face the second wave of Covid-19 approved two weeks ago, including the closure of bars and restaurants, "are beginning to take effect," according to the health secretary general, Marc Ramentol.

Yet, for him, "now is definitely not the moment for optimism."

One of Catalonia's top epidemiologists, Hospital Clínic's Antoni Trilla, also said that the restrictions are "taking effect," but the pressure in health centers will only feel this trend in a few weeks.

Some of the variables that show the current situation of the pandemic in Catalonia are no longer on a sharp rise, and some are even dropping.

Sharp rise trend stopped

The transmission rate – the number of people each positive case is transmitting the virus to – reached 1.53 a week ago, but dropped to 1.12 as of November 2.

The authorities' aim is to see this figure below 1.

As for the outbreak risk, it had grown at a fast pace in October, moving from 150 points in the iEPG index in mid-September to 904 on October 31 – but in the past couple of days it fell to 835 as of November 2.

  • "Now is definitely not the moment for optimism"

    Marc Ramentol · Health secretary general

The iEPG index is calculated by multiplying the average spread of the virus over the past seven days by the cumulative incidence over the past two weeks – it is considered to be low under 30 points, moderate at 70, high at 100 and very high at 200.

The number of cases is also soaring, but while the daily new diagnoses was around 5,000 in October, it dropped to around 4,000 and 3,600 in the past two days respectively – the number of new positives in the previous 14 days per 100,000 people surpassed 500 last week and was above 700 at the beginning of November.

The number of people hospitalized because of the disease was at 2,687 as of November 2, after a sharp rise of 1,800 in the past month – the figure had not been less than 550 or higher than 810 for two months up until October, when the numbers went up.

The number of people in ICUs has also risen lately, up to 481 at the same time – yet, still far below the peak of 1,529 seen in the spring.

The number of declared deaths from Covid-19 per day in October oscillated roughly from 10 to 25, but reached 78 in one day on October 29, the highest figure of the second wave.

Too soon to assess latest restrictions

The authorities believe that the measures to stop the pandemic cannot show their effect in less than two weeks.

This means that the restrictions including the closure of bars and restaurants can already be assessed, but not the latest ones, such as the closure of borders, cultural venues, shopping malls and the weekend partial lockdown.


  • Bar El Toc, in Vilobí d'Onyar, tidying up chairs after ban on October 16, 2020 (by Gemma Tubert)

  • Bar El Toc, in Vilobí d'Onyar, tidying up chairs after ban on October 16, 2020 (by Gemma Tubert)