Covid-19 outbreak risk indicator no longer 'very high' but sixth wave 'very likely'

New daily transmissions down to slightly over 1,000 as patients needing hospitalization and ICU steadily decrease

A woman in Tarragona getting her Covid-19 vaccine (by Eloi Tost)
A woman in Tarragona getting her Covid-19 vaccine (by Eloi Tost) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

August 30, 2021 11:30 AM

August has seen a significant decrease in the impact of Covid-19 in Catalonia. The peak of the fifth wave is now long gone and the outbreak risk indicator is no longer 'very high.'

July 9 marked an all-time high for this variable at 1,828, but it has been decreasing ever since, falling to below 200 – as of August 29, this figure stands at 170.

And outbreak risk of above 100 is considered to be 'high' risk and authorities deem anything above 200 'very high' risk. It is calculated using an iEPG index, which is found by multiplying the average spread of the virus over the past seven days by the cumulative incidence over the past two weeks.

Likewise, the transmission rate continues below 1. 1 or over concerns authorities. Indeed, as of August 29, the number of people who get the virus per every positive case is 0.82.

Sharp decrease in daily transmissions

After an all-time high number of new transmissions at the beginning of summer, with over 8,000 at the peak of the fifth wave, this indicator has also gone down, as slightly over 1,000 new cases are now declared per day on average.

This is a similar progression to cases per 100,000 inhabitants over the last 14 days, peaking at 1,245 in July, and sharply declining to 219.25 on August 29.

Catalonia is approaching a million Covid-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic – 961,693 as of August 29 – out of a population of 7.7 million.

Under 400 patients in for first time since July 19

The fifth wave brought with it an increase in the number of deaths. Hardly any were reported before mid-July, when figures began to climb to an average of 20 per day. Yet, vaccinations contributed to lowering the number of deaths compared to those that occurred during waves prior to their rollout.

Hospitalizations have always been the slowest indicator to drop after a Covid-19 wave, and this wave is no different. The number of people in medical centers after testing positive is now 1,152, while 399 of them are in intensive care units. This figure has fallen below 400 for the first time since July 19.

If the figure reaches 600 patients in ICUs, other medical appointments have to be postponed, according to the health department.

Sixth wave, "very likely"

The pandemic seems to be under control again two months later, but the government believes it is "very likely" that a sixth wave will arrive in the autumn.

Catalan health minister Josep Maria Argimon admitted last week that residents will have to "live with the virus."

"The more protected we are, the more we will be able to control it," he said, adding that the jab reduces the probability of getting the virus eightfold and sharply decreases the chances of developing serious symptoms.

As of August 29, 2021, 5,667,868 residents have been given the first dose of the vaccine71.7% of the total population. Out of those, 4,634813 have also been administered a second dose (58.8% of the total population). 5,240,391 residents are considered to be fully immunized (66.4%). 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.