- Covid infections double in the Community in just three days
Hospitals in the province of Alicante are now treating 15 times more patients with covid than a year ago.
The first day of July marked the beginning of the holidays for many Spaniards which also included large numbers of health personnel. Approximately a third of the 72,000 medical staff in the public health system will be away from their posts as they take a well-deserved annual break.
As such, hospitals, health centres, clinics, care points, emergency services and other health services are having to do without more than 20,000 staff a month, over the next three months, as they take their holidays in July, August and September, and all this at a time that Covid-19 infections are showing a precarious rise.
According to data provided last Friday by the Valencian Ministry of Health, since Tuesday 8,789 infections have been recorded in what experts are beginning to call the seventh wave of the pandemic. In just three days the cases have practically doubled – they have grown by 96% – while the accumulated incidence in those over 60 years of age – the only one that is being counted at the moment – is already 715.29 cases per every hundred thousand people. On the previous Tuesday the index was at 559.48. The current rate that is being recorded at the national level stands at 996 cases.
The new infections by province are 756 in Castellón, 2,632 in Alicante and 5,401 in Valencia. Of these, 3,775 are people who are over 60 years of age, 356 in Castellón, 1,141 in Alicante and 2,278 in the Valencia Province.
The most serious aspect is that hospital pressure continues to rise. The Community currently has 993 people on the wards, 88 more than last Tuesday and 291 (41.5%) more than just a week ago. 42 of these patients are in intensive care units.
Since Tuesday, there have been 18 deaths reported, 11 women between 69 and 99 years old, and 7 men between 64 and 89 years old.
According to Dolly Prunés, president of CSIF health, “It is getting worse due to the lack of foresight of the Ministry of Health.” Indeed the unions have been very critical of the summer plan presented by Health with the ministry saying that it intends to hire 2,000 fewer staff than in 2019, the year before the pandemic. But trade unions say that barely 30% of the vacancies created during the holidays have so far been covered as the increase in Covid-19 infections further complicates the situation with the continuous arrival of patients is putting some hospitals on the verge of saturation, as is the case in the Valencia General Hospital.
In some health authorities, holidays are being denied to some staff during the summer months although the Ministry of Health has rejected the existence of any instructions in this regard.
Meanwhile, Carolina Darias, Spain’s Minister of Health, has asked for “caution” as she is once again recommending the use of mask in the face of the increase in Covid cases.
She has also called for the booster dose to be given to those who do not yet have it, while she is waiting to find out what the upcoming Vaccine Conference, which meets periodically, determines about the fourth dose and “when” it should be rolled out.