This is the rolling coronavirus story for Sunday 9 August 2020.
More bad news - 100 new cases plus 2 deaths - the first in the province since the end of May
The province adds two deaths after more than two months, since May 30
The coronavirus leaves today in Almería figures that are truly worrying and that were not registered in the province for just over two months, specifically since May 30, when the Almería hospitals added their last death. Today, Sunday leaves an increase in the number of deaths in the province with two more people who have lost their lives in the last 24 hours, one of them, according to official sources confirmed to LA VOZ, at the Hospital del Poniente.
But to the worrying data of this Sunday we must also add a total of 100 new positives detected by PCR, which leaves the total figure already on the verge of 2.00 (1,978) and, again, Almería as the Andalusian province with more houses on the last day, only followed by Malaga, which has 80 of the 287 detected throughout the Andalusian territory. This is followed by Seville, with half and already far away the province of Cádiz, with 17 positives.
The dramatic figures that the pandemic leaves today add to the last record in Almería, it left 114 positives yesterday and also leave a new increase in the number of hospitalized patients, which with two more in 24 hours stands at 48, of which 10 are in the ICU, one more than the day before. By provinces: in Almería (48 hospitalizations, of which 10 in ICU), Cádiz (10 hospitalizations, of which 2 in ICU), Córdoba (10 hospitalizations, of which 1 in ICU), Granada (8 hospitalizations, of which than 1 in ICU), Huelva (3 hospitalizations, of which 1 in ICU), Jaén (5 hospitalizations and none in ICU), Malaga (15 hospitalizations, of which 2 in ICU) and Seville (7 hospitalizations and none in ICU ).
For its part, the positive figure is once again today, when the Health delegate in Almería, Juan de la Cruz Belmonte, has launched an alert message in this newspaper towards young people, asking them to follow the rules, the moderate increase of patients who have overcome Covid-19, which is three more in 24 hours, 1,198 since the beginning of the pandemic. Regarding the outbreaks, Almería maintains the same 11 outbreaks as this Saturday and that of Mojácar's nightlife continues with 70 positives.
The Health delegate warns: a 23-year-old is intubated in the Huércal-Overa ICU
If a little more than a month ago it seemed unlikely that Almería would regularly reach one hundred cases of Covid-19, in recent days it has become a routine: the province again surpassed yesterday - for the fourth time in the week - the daily maximum of infections, with 114, and two new outbreaks have been declared in Poniente and in Almería, with 8 and 5 cases, respectively.
Faced with this alarming progression, the provincial delegate of the Ministry of Health, Juan de la Cruz Belmonte, has acknowledged to LA VOZ his concern, and has warned that relaxation in compliance with security measures has a lot to do with this new reality, especially in the younger population sector, which now constitutes the bulk of new infections, to the point that the average age of those affected in the province has already dropped "to 32 years."
Although it clarifies that it does not intend to ‘demonize’ young people either, it does warn that “if they do not protect themselves, the spread of the virus will be unstoppable, because they are not immune to it”.
Belmonte gives as an example that no one is free from being seriously affected by the coronavirus, the fact that “currently a 23-year-old young man with no previous pathology is admitted and intubated at the Huércal-Overa Hospital”, and also youth hospitalizations are also increasing in the province. The delegate believes that young people, like everyone else, should show solidarity with others and "think as if they were infected to protect those around them, simply by wearing a mask and maintaining safety distances."
Meetings and leisure Juan de la Cruz Belmonte reports that right now in Almería most of the cases are not related to seasonal agricultural workers, as it may have seemed weeks ago, after the detection of several outbreaks around companies in the sector that , as highlighted, "they are already controlled and overcome." "Most of the infections currently occur in family gatherings, social and nightlife parties for young people, which is where we have relaxed, where we interact without masks," he says.
Regarding the outbreak in the Levante nightclubs, the great work that is being done to find the contacts of each contagion stands out: "Yesterday we did more than 500 tests there, of which less than a dozen have tested positive."
In fact, the delegate affirms that another explanation for the large number of positives in Almería is also "the large number of tests that are being carried out, which are detecting many asymptomatic patients, in addition to other special circumstances, such as the high mobility in the province."
Back off phase? Although in other areas of Spain drastic measures have been taken, such as confinement or phase reversal due to the increase in cases, Belmonte affirms that at the moment in Almería “no similar measure has been proposed, although this is a decision that should take the Counseling ”. “Now at the level of hospital admissions we are the same as at the highest peak of the pandemic. At that time, Almería did not even reach 50% of the capacity of the centers, so we can withstand the healthcare pressure well and, for now, the situation remains under control ”.
Regarding the situation of the hospitals, after the Torrecárdenas medical director has assured that the situation is alarming, Belmonte says that "for now no measures have been adopted that affect their normal operation."
Adam Cucharski has published a manual to help you understand it
It seems that the Covid-19 infection has come to stay. It is going to become endemic globally, which means that even as some countries manage to control the virus, there will always be a risk of new introductions in areas where there are no outbreaks yet.
This is the theory that the associate professor and member of the Department of Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Adam Cucharski, handles in an interview with Infosalus, on the occasion of the publication of 'The rules of contagion' (Captain Swing), a manual in which he explains how epidemics arise, spread and disappear, and in which he explains that mathematical models can help us understand and achieve this.
Thus, he points out that in regions where there were first and "very large" waves of Covid-19, such as some areas of Latin America and India, immunity can reduce the size of subsequent outbreaks. "But in the future, the virus may still cause new outbreaks in younger age groups, who were not around to see the previous waves," he notes.
With this, the epidemiologist recognizes that societies can only return to normal once populations have sufficient immunity against the virus to stop transmission. In particular, there is talk of what is called 'herd immunity' and that it would be achieved in the hypothetical case that 60% -75% of the population had overcome the infection, according to the estimates of Imperial College London, only in this way The contagions would be stopped naturally because the virus could no longer spread again, as so many people have been affected.
In the specific case of Spain, only 5% of the population would have been exposed to Covid-19, according to the national seroprevalence study published in May this year.
"In some places, uncontrolled epidemics can generate some immunity against infection, but the hope is that a vaccine can create immunity. Until then, we have to find a sustainable way to keep infections away from the most susceptible groups," he maintains Adam Cucharski.
How to stop flare-ups?
According to this specialist, stopping outbreaks will reduce interactions between infectious and susceptible people. "This may include measures at the individual level such as contact tracing and the use of masks, as well as a series of measures at the community level, such as social distancing, or already national measures such as the closure of borders or quarantine to travelers, "he details.
In his view, each of these measures has a different level of effectiveness in reducing coronavirus transmission and a different level of disruption. "So countries will need to find a successful and sustainable combination over the next year if they want to avoid further outbreaks," says the member of the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
His idea of why the virus is hitting so hard in Spain lies in 3 factors: the connectivity with other countries that had epidemics, the measures taken to control local outbreaks, and an element of opportunity about where and when the outbreaks began.
"The virus spread very rapidly in Europe in February and early March 2020. For example, genetic data suggested extensive transmission between Italy, Spain, France and the UK. To cope with the outbreaks, countries will need to find the right balance of internal control measures, but it will also depend on what your neighbors are doing ", underlines the author of 'The rules of contagion'.
Regarding the quarantine that the United Kingdom has imposed on travelers from Spain, the English scientist considers that these can reduce the risk of infection in a country, and also goes further, considering it likely that more restrictions will be seen in this line, although always depending which countries currently have outbreaks.
"There will be some tough decisions ahead: If many countries in Europe can find a way to consistently keep cases very low, this will make it easier to have open travel routes," argues Cucharski.
On the other hand, the researcher maintains that there is much scientific evidence that interactions indoors, such as offices, bars, family gatherings and gyms, can be particularly dangerous when it comes to promoting infections. Another point to work on if you want to stop the outbreaks of COVID-19.