Highest daily new Covid-19 cases seen since pandemic began
No new deaths but Catalonia recorded 7,100 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday as outbreaks continue to surge
Catalonia has reported its highest ever daily new Covid-19 cases in the latest update provided on Wednesday.
For data corresponding to the previous day, July 6 saw 7,100 new coronavirus cases confirmed, topping the previous all-time high of January 11, 2021, when 6,981 infections were reported.
The latest record follows on from an intense ten days of outbreaks surging and many key pandemic indicators significantly worsening.
This also comes a day after authorities announced indoor areas of nightclubs would be closed from Friday. While health minister Josep Maria Argimon says the sector alone is not responsible for the recent increase in cases, and attributes it rather to leisure activities and socializing in general, the health department has traced 31 outbreaks back to nightclubs, leading to 456 positive cases.
In order to break up large maskless crowds of people in Barcelona, mayor Ada Colau stated that this following weekend there would be more local officers on patrol. The mayor has also asked the interior department for an increased presence of Mossos d'Esquadra police in the Catalan capital.
Situation in hospitals
The huge spike in cases since the beginning of last week had not significantly affected hospitals at first, but the latest updates have begun to change this picture.
A further 137 people have been hospitalized with the virus in the past four days, with the total number jumping from 473 to 610. However, this is still far below levels seen during the past months, when over 1,000 people needed medical care for Covid-19 in the first half of May, and the figure has, overall, been on a steady decline for months.
Additionally, the number of people in intensive care units is remaining stable, with 133 patients currently in ICUs - up from a low of 115 seen on July 1.
In the long-term, the state of this key pandemic indicator is also improving, with a steady decline in the count being seen ever since January, barring a brief uptick around Easter.
The surge in cases has also taken what the health minister has described as a "very worrisome" toll on the primary care system. Currently in charge of the vaccination rollout campaign, primary care workers must now carry out an increased number of Covid-19 tests as well.
Because of this, large hospitals in the Barcelona area are set to set up external testing sites in an attempt to reduce some of the pressure on the primary care system.
Other key indicators
The outbreak risk has now seen three consecutive days of record highs. In the latest update, this figure stands at 1,460, and over 100 points in this indicator is considered a ‘high’ risk of outbreak. The metric has seen an almost nine-fold increase in just one week.
The outbreak risk is calculated using the iEPG index by multiplying the average spread of the virus over the past seven days by the cumulative incidence over the past two weeks.
Additionally, the incidence rate - the number of cases seen over the past 14 days per 100,000 population - has skyrocketed also, from 119 to 445 in just a week.
The transmission rate now stands at 3.39 - the average number of times a person with Covid-19 will pass it on to another person, indicating rapid reproduction of the virus. Amongst younger generations this figure is much higher: between 8 and 10 people become infected per every confirmed case, Argimon explained on Wednesday.
Health authorities insist that the perceived risk of the pandemic is overall quite low despite the rising case numbers and incidence rate largely thanks to the success of the vaccination campaign.
More than 40% of Catalonia’s population is already fully immunized, with either two doses of a jab that require it, one dose of the Janssen vaccine, or else one dose of another brand if the person has already had and recovered from the virus.
As of July 6, 2021, 4,406,721 residents have been given the first dose of the vaccine, 56.1% of the total population. Out of those, 2,984,248 have also been administered a second dose (38.1% of the total population).
3,312,905 residents are considered to be fully immunized (42.2%). Under 65s who have already had the virus are only required to have the first dose, and others have received a single-dose jab. Therefore, the % of two doses administered and % fully immunized do not match.
Number of people diagnosed per day
Hospitalized patients and ICU patients from July 29
Number of confirmed and suspected Covid-19 deaths per day (at hospitals until May 19, also other health centers from May 20, also elsewhere since August 5)
Outbreak risk (over 100 is high) and transmission rate (over 1 concerns authorities)
Number of cases per 100,000 inhabitants in last 14 days
Percentage of population vaccinated