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Pressure in hospitals rises across Catalonia due to recent surge in Covid-19 cases

Increases vary across the territory, where some medical centers are nearing a situation of “saturation”


15 October 2020 01:36 PM


ACN | Barcelona

Hospitals across Catalonia are facing varying increases in coronavirus admissions, causing pressures to rise, as the Catalan News Agency (ACN) learned on Thursday.

The latest data shows that 1,062 people are currently in hospital, with 40 new admissions in the last 24 hours. Of these, 188 are in ICU.

Ten days ago, people affected by coronavirus only represented 7% of hospital admissions in Catalonia. This went up to 10% on Thursday, according to data presented by Marta Chandre, deputy director of the Catalan Health Service (CatSalut).

This comes after a worrying rise in coronavirus cases throughout Catalonia, with last week seeing the highest weekly rise of all time in the area. The week of October 4 to October 10, Catalonia reported 12,211 infections by PCR and other methods.

New measures

Rising tensions in hospitals as well as the growing amount of cases have triggered the new measures across Catalonia. These include bars and restaurants shutting from Thursday at midnight and shops being reduced to a 30% capacity if a court gives the measures the go-ahead. 

Pressure in hospitals

Despite increases being seen across Catalonia, not all hospitals are experiencing the same amount of pressure.

For instance, at Clinic Hospital in Barcelona, the amount of patients in the center suffering from Covid-19 has gone up from 30 last week to 50 this week. Cases in ICU, which were under 10, have this week also risen to around 12-13 cases.

Hospital Parc Taulí in Sabadell has seen figures "skyrocket." Manel Cervantes, the head of the Infectious Diseases center at the hospital, told ACN that they were also extremely worried about the lack of nurses to deal with the increasing cases.

Whilst in Barcelona’s Hospital del Mar cases have increased but only in "small amounts" notes doctor Juan Pablo Horcajada, head of the Infectious Diseases Center at the hospital.

However, the number of patients arriving at the emergency department has largely increased. Doctor Horcajada stated that last month five patients would come in a day, on Tuesday this had gone up to 30.

Similar trends have been seen elsewhere, including central Catalonia. "We haven’t had a sudden increase [in Covid cases] like we did last [spring], but rather a more gradual one," says Rosa Maria Morral, a doctor in Vic. "But last week we saw a more significant increase in cases."

Contingency plans

Contingency plans are in place across hospitals in Catalonia. Parc Taulí has set up beds for recovering Covid-19 patients in Hotel Verdi and in Lleida plans to open a second floor dedicated to those suffering from Covid-19.

The restrictions that were announced on Wednesday are also hoped to curb growing infection numbers.

Doctor Horcajada said to ACN that he hopes that "as the increase in the number of patients begins to pick up speed, the measures being implemented will begin to be noticed. That is what I hope, what I do not know is if we will be there on time."


  • Covid-19 patients during the first wave in Trueta April, 22 2020 (by Hospital Trueta)

  • Covid-19 patients during the first wave in Trueta April, 22 2020 (by Hospital Trueta)