The Alicante province broke the record for coronavirus infections this Wednesday, with 2,735 new cases in 24 hours. In just two weeks, infections have doubled, with the omicron variant already circulating widely in the community, which is beginning to have its effect in hospitals.
Despite the vaccination campaign having a positive impact during this current wave of infections, in the last two weeks admissions to ICUs in the province have risen by 30%. There are currently 60 people hospitalised in a critical condition in the ten public centres of the province.
“In a single day there are 19 more patients in the Intensive Care Units of the entire Community and that is a lot, although at the moment the pressure is not comparable to that of last year,” says José María Núñez, member of the Valencian Society of Intensive medicine.
The vast majority of people who become seriously ill from covid are unvaccinated patients, although little by little the number of people vaccinated is increasing due to the loss of immunity. «If weeks ago we were talking about 80% compared to 20% of those vaccinated, at the moment it would be 70% compared to 30%».
Regarding the situation in hospitals, the number of patients has increased in two weeks by 19% and, according to the most recent data, there are 213 people who have required hospitalisation because of the covid.
It is believed that the explosion of cases being registered at the moment is the result family gatherings on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. “The omicron variant is much faster to spread than the previous delta. It is barely three days compared to 10 before, so the cases we are seeing are already the consequence of the first part of Christmas,” warns Eva Suárez, spokesperson for the Primary Care Forum of the Valencian Community.
According to information provided by the Satse and UGT unions, the General Hospital of Alicante is the one with the most patients admitted, with 41 at the last count, which already occupy three floors. In the neighbouring Sant Joan hospital, there are 30 patients on two floors, including a pregnant woman and a 40-day-old child, whose situation is not serious.
In Orihuela there are 19 admitted. Despite the increase in hospitalisations in recent days, hospitals have free beds in the ward and in the ICU, thanks to the reduction in operations and scheduled admissions, both due to the covid and the Christmas holidays. “The problem will be once the Christmas holidays end, around 10 January, when the highest peak of the sixth wave is expected and the return of the scheduled activity”, warns Emilia Guevara.