This is the rolling coronavirus story for Saturday 13 March 2021
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Type of coronavirus in the province of Almería
This is how the British strain is detected, causing 93% of positives in Almería
Patients with covid symptoms and negative CRP were the origin of the variant in Almería
The British variant of the coronavirus keeps the health authorities of the province of Almería on permanent alert, which have seen this new strain shoot the positives detected since its appearance during the month of February. The strain of Great Britain has gone from having just five cases in the first days of last month to currently account for 93% of the positives that are detected in the province for one main reason: "It is much more contagious."
This has been confirmed to LA VOZ by the Health delegate of the Andalusian Government in Almería, Juan de la Cruz Belmonte, and the Head of Epidemiology of the territorial delegation, Antonio Garrido, who has detailed how the process is since a positive for covid until it is known that it is for the British variant.
In the first place, as the two experts point out, the mutation that emerged in the United Kingdom is much more contagious than the one originating in Wuhan, since the former with "much less viral load" in the "droplets" that are expelled when speaking or coughing can infect more people. "With less viral load, this variant causes the person to become infected, which makes it more contagious but also more transmissible," says Belmonte.
In this regard, Garrido specifies: "The British variant coronavirus spicule adheres much easier to the cell and lasts longer in the pharynx, so it makes contagion easier and for longer when a positive person speaks or cough. "
In this month of March it is already possible to know how the British strain acts in our body once it has infected us, but until a few weeks ago the United Kingdom variant was so unknown that it unleashed the alert among specialists. "We realized that there was this mutation because there were patients with all the symptoms of the coronavirus who tested negative in PCR tests, so during the studies we noticed the change of the S spike," explains the chief of epidemiology.
Once the variation has been detected, a protocol has already been established to determine the strain to which the positives detected in the province belong, which in more than 90% of cases is currently the UK strain. "In the epidemiological study we asked the positive if he has been in contact with a British person or has gone to Great Britain in the last 15 days," says Belmonte.
And the Health delegate continues: "With this information, the positive coronavirus sample is sent to the San Cecilio Hospital in Granada, where a study is made of the genotype to which it belongs within the coronavirus and there it is determined if it is B1.1.7, which is the genomic variation of the coronavirus in which a variant appears, the spike S ".
A variation that makes it much more transmissible, but which, Garrido emphasizes, from the pathogenic point of view is "just as serious" as the rest of the strains, such as Wuhan or South Africa, of which today the first positive in Andalusia.
Some Spanish regions put aside unused doses from a particular batch of AstraZenica
Stats for the last 24 hours - 153 new cases and 2 more deaths
The covid claims another two lives in Almería, which drops to 153 positives (typo in main part of article says 158)
A dozen patients have needed to be hospitalized and 188 have been cured
After living yesterday its second day of March without deaths, the respite has lasted only 24 hours in the province of Almería, which today has seen two other neighbors die who had previously tested positive for a PDIA coronavirus test. Two deaths that already bring those registered by the health authorities to 689 since March after starring in an intense escalation during the third wave.
This is how it is collected this Saturday by the epidemiological report provided by the Ministry of Health and Families of the Junta de Andalucía, where together with the two deaths from covid, in Almería there are also another 158 new infected, which represents a slight decrease compared to the The day before, when there were 180. With this increase, there are already 46,455 people from Almeria who have tested positive for a PDIA test (antigen test and PCR), almost 47,000 if the so-called rapid tests are also counted.
In the hospitalized section, to which the Almeria Health delegate, Juan de la Cruz Belmonte, has referred in detail today, a total of 10 new patients from the province have been admitted to the ward, none of them in Intensive Care , which added to the recoveries of other patients today leaves 123 hospitalized for covid between La Inmaculada, Torrecárdenas and Poniente, the latter two with a greater burden, and 48 patients in the ICU.
Likewise, the Ministry of Health has notified today the recovery of 188 people from Almería who have received the epidemiological discharge after overcoming the disease, bringing the total to 32,981. In Andalusia, for its part, this figure shoots up today to 2,570 recovered patients and more than 354,000 have been cured since March.
As for the positives in the autonomous community, these have dropped today from 1,000 to add 890, with prominence for Granada and Seville, with 186 and 181, which are the ones that have added the most. In addition, 22 people have died, two of them in Almería, leaving the total number of deaths since March at 8,895.
Update on the status of coronavirus in the province
Health Delegate: "In Almería there have been no lack of ICU beds or on the floor"
Torrecárdenas and Poniente, those who maintain the highest pressure
The territorial delegate of Health and Families of the Board in Almería, Juan de la Cruz Belmonte, has highlighted the "effort" and "good planning" that has been made by the hospitals and health districts of the province now that It has been one year since the state of alarm was decreed for the first time in Spain as a result of covid-19.
"A very good forecast has been made of the province's healthcare needs. We have not lacked ICU beds and we have not lacked beds in the ward," Belmonte assured in an interview with Europa Press in which he acknowledged that the The opening of the Maternal-Infant Hospital has helped support the income figures that have occurred during the pandemic, which has attacked Almería with special virulence during the third wave.
At the hospital level, the delegate has called the management "successful" since the hospitals have not been "blocked" although contingency plans have been activated in all of them to meet the demand of patients, including some from other territories like Melilla.
In this sense, he applauded the results obtained by hospitals "in the midst of a pandemic" thanks to the work of their professionals: the waiting lists for outpatient consultations have dropped "by 36 percent" between December 2019 and 2020 while the list waiting time for diagnostic tests has fallen "by 20 percent", since "in oncology the terms of the decree have been met regarding the time to wait for oncological interventions" and urgent interventions "have not been delayed".
However, he has recognized a slight increase in the surgical waiting list for non-urgent interventions, of "two percent", which he attributes above all to this last stage in which it was necessary to prepare operating rooms and assign anesthetists to covid areas. "The scheduled non-urgent interventions were suspended, we needed anesthetists and ICU beds," he explained.
However, and given the slow but constant drop in healthcare pressure in recent days --133 people admitted until this Friday, 54 of them in ICU - hospital centers "are gradually recovering" their ordinary activity.
"Huércal-Overa has lowered his healthcare pressure a lot, Torrecárdenas has also lowered, although not so much and Poniente is going down little by little," pointed out the delegate who attributes to these difficulties in the ejidense hospital a slower de-escalation in the Poniente area of Almeria. "We need the Roquetas hospital now," he added in this regard.
For the delegate, "the Almeria health system has withstood all the healthcare pressure it has had very well" in the different waves, between which he distinguishes two very different stages before and after the summer both due to the impact of the coronavirus and the lack of knowledge about how the virus was transmitted and what its effects were.
"In Almería we were lucky that many professionals were not infected, but I understand the fear of the unknown", explained Belmonte who remembers the detection of a first case on February 27, 2020 in a young patient from Milan (Italy). By then, the Ministry had begun "at the end of January" to plan possible scenarios. "We never thought that what was coming would come to us," he said.
Thus, the main objectives were the protection of healthcare professionals and nursing homes. "We distributed 101,810 masks in residences, 31,700 gloves, 2,024 liters of hydroalcohol and 438 screens in residences and social health centers at the same time that we tried to coordinate all the help that Almeria society gave us, which was very receptive" and therefore "no there were problems due to lack of means of protection ".
"Protecting the health workers was the number one objective because if they made us sick, then we did not have enough staff to be able to attend to patients," said the provincial head of Health.
In parallel, the Delegation of Health and Families worked to preserve the residences for the elderly and prevent the entry of the covid into them. "In Almería we were the first province to medicalize four residences because our main obsession was to save lives and not leave them alone," explained Belmonte among the first actions that were carried out at the end of March and the beginning of April 2020.
"We understood perfectly that it was a place where the virus could be transmitted much easier and in the first case, we medicalized", recalled the delegate, who highlighted the action of the UME to disinfect environments and social health centers. "We avoid many deaths due to that action, although I am sorry for all those who died," the delegate lamented before the 88 deaths registered by the Ministry in the residences of Almería.
The proliferation of outbreaks inside these spaces occurred again with the arrival of the second wave, during the first weeks of August, with some especially complicated cases such as the residence of El Zapillo in Almería or Virgen del Rosario, in Roquetas. de Mar. "These outbreaks in residences coincide with population outbreaks, because they are imported positive. The virus enters the residence and there was a fantastic breeding ground for transmission."
The Health delegate explained that the arrival of the second wave was promoted by the attraction of visitors in summer, since Almería was a "safe" vacation destination due to its low rate. That led to outbreaks in mid-August linked to "certain discos and nightlife venues in Mojácar and in the Poniente area", which had their aftershocks with the start of the fruit and vegetable campaign in various alhóndigas and marketers.
"We had a lot of geographic dispersion, with a lot of mobility and with many young people" who, to a large extent, passed the disease asymptomatically, which led the Board to do "in a strong time" up to "2,000 daily tests" of CRP , in order to control the situation. "There were so many that were made that at first it collapsed but later we got used to doing them in greater numbers."
The provincial head of Health has thus recognized that the collaboration of the municipalities and Local Police staff was essential to control mobility among those people "were not particularly sensitized" and that, after testing positive, they went out on the street when they did not notice the effects of the illness. "That was a very beneficial effect because we really realized that the wave started to go down."
To this were added the housing resources for those who could not pass the quarantine alone, among which the delegate highlighted those provided by the Níjar City Council and by the Hoteles Playa chain, which provided one of its establishments for those immigrants who arrive by boat. with covid-19 and its close contacts.
The beginning of the school year marked another turning point within the educational community. "I think it has worked quite well, but I understand the nervousness," said Belmonte, for whom the figures take for granted that the schools have not suffered a "massive contagion" nor are they "contaminated." "At the peak of the pandemic we were able to reach 2.3 percent of closed classrooms," he added in this regard.
The delegate has called for caution to continue fighting the virus while the vaccination period is extended, despite the fact that the mortality level in Almería is below the Andalusian average, with 1.48 percent of the positive cases of the province.