Covid patients in Catalan hospitals surpass 3,000
Numbers in ICU have doubled in less than a month to reach 684
The number of patients in Catalan hospitals with Covid-19 has surpassed 3,000, reaching 3,038 on Sunday, January 24, according to the latest figures from the Catalan health department.
The number of coronavirus hospitalizations in this third wave of infections in Catalonia continues to rise, doubling in the past month since Christmas Eve when there were 1,520.
Inpatient numbers during the last week have been consistently above the peak recorded during the second wave, which was 2,793 on November 8.
There is a similar pattern with patients in intensive care units (ICUs), with the latest high being 684 on January 24.
This is well above the peak of the second wave, when 597 Covid-19 patients were in ICUs on November 10.
The numbers in intensive care fell to a relative low of 314 on December 23, but have been on the rise ever since, doubling since December 27, when there were 337.
On a more positive note, the outbreak risk and transmission rate have been falling over the past ten days – albeit from very high levels – giving some hope that the third wave curve may flatten soon.
Vaccine rollout: second doses
Catalonia will use the vast majority of the 57,000 Pfizer vaccine doses it received this week to administer second doses to those who have already had their first dose.
The health minister, Alba Vergés, said that despite receiving 2,000 doses less than expected, 69,000 doses would be administered this week, by getting six doses out of each vaccine vial rather than five.
To date, 4.3% of people offered the vaccine have declined to take it: 6% of care home workers, 3% of care home residents and 1% of healthcare professionals.
Vergés also expressed concern about the wider situation in Europe and Spain, saying that in Catalonia "we can't pretend to be an isolated nucleus."
She also warned that authorities would have to remain "very vigilant" to the effects that the British variant may have in the coming weeks.