Covid outbreak risk indicator below 'high' threshold for first time in 11 months

May 2021 saw fewest deaths since July 2020 thanks to vaccination of eldest age groups

Image of some vaccination booths and a line in the Fira Barcelona vaccination site, on June 7, 2021 (by Laura Fíguls)
Image of some vaccination booths and a line in the Fira Barcelona vaccination site, on June 7, 2021 (by Laura Fíguls) / Guifré Jordan

Guifré Jordan | Barcelona

June 7, 2021 12:59 PM

The outbreak risk pandemic indicator in Catalonia is now below the ‘high risk’ threshold for the first time since July 15, 2020. 

The latest daily update on the figures by the health department, on Monday, stated that the outbreak risk now stood at 98, below the 'high risk' threshold.

The outbreak risk is considered to be low at 30, moderate at 70, high at 100 and very high at 200. It is calculated using an iEPG index - found by multiplying the average spread of the virus over the past seven days by the cumulative incidence over the past two weeks.   

The improvement of the pandemic situation in May – the month began with this figure at 284 – promptedthe figure to sit below 'very high' levels by May 11 and is now below what is considered 'high' risk.

Lower incidence rate can prompt reopening of nightlife

Likewise, other variables are also looking better, such as the number of new Covid-19 transmissions per 100,000 inhabitants in the previous 14 days (IA14). As of June 6, the figure was at 99.98, just under 100, also for the first time since mid-July 2020.

The IA14 will be especially key in deciding about other restrictions being eased or not – for instance,the Spanish and regional governments decided last week to reopen nightclubs in areas reporting 50 or fewer cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the previous 14 days (IA14), among other conditions.

As well as this, places at medium-level risk, which have 50 to 150 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, have the possibility of reopening the sector if the regional government decides to do so. The Catalan government is considering it  at the moment after the successful pilot test held in Sitges last month.

Other figures, such as the new transmissions, are also evidence that the virus is under control. The transmission rate is now under 1 again (as of June 6, 0.98), after reaching above this figure for a week at the start of June. 

This variable marks how many people will get the virus per person infected – above 1 concerns authorities.

Vaccinations boost recovery

The vaccinations are prompting a recovery of the disease and the progressive return of social life in the country.

As of June 6, 2021, 3,026,949 residents have been given the first dose of the vaccine, 38.6% of the total population. Out of those, 1,670,594 have also been administered the second dose (21.4% of the total population). 1,778,686 residents are considered to be fully immunized (22.7%). 

Fewest deaths since July 2020

Inoculations are also accountable for the sharp decrease in number of deaths to do with Covid-19. 

May 2021 is the month that has seen the third fewest deaths related to Covid-19 since the beginning of the health crisis, with 241 - the downward trend has been going on since February, and especially in the spring, when the vaccination rollout picked up pace. 

In April, 535 people lost their lives due to the pandemic, which was already the lowest figure since September, but May saw less than half the fatalities of the previous month. 

In the past few months, the share of people who had passed away older than 74 had already decreased from roughly 80% to 75%, but in May, the figure was by far the lowest on record: 58%. 

The rollout began with the eldest age groups, although it is now progressing and those between 45 and 49 can already book their appointment to get the jab. On Monday, June 7, the vaccinations for this age group began in mass vaccination sites.