A new map for the same virus: how has COVID-19 changed and what warnings does it leave? Society

The Ministry of Health announced last Friday that it remains no smoking on public roads, also nightlife. The discos close again, the terraces become the new focus on a stage full of rehearsals. Also youth. Many scientific aspects of the new coronavirus are still unknown, so restrictions come and go as the summer progresses uncertain for all ages.

Precisely about summer and the rise in temperatures before June 21 (date of the end of the state of alarm and the beginning of this summer period) as possible positive variables for greater control of COVID-19: the heat would leave the virus cornered and it would make it less aggressive, that is, it would give the population a kind of truce. The changes, however, have not been so flattering as believed, but the situation, yes, has taken a turn and evidences the complexity of the disease. What did the virus warn a month ago and what does it warn now?

An inverted scenario

Neither the areas with the greatest impact, nor the age of affected people nor the number of deaths are as at the beginning of the pandemic in Spain. The map has nothing to do with the one that the coronavirus drew in March, April, May, not even in June.

To begin with, the autonomous communities that appeared first on the list for infections have changed today. The virus appears to have traveled to places where the impact of the first wave was not as severe. Thus, the average number of positives diagnosed by PCR in Spain on June 21 was 524 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, and they stood out Madrid, Catalonia, Castilla y León and Castilla-La Mancha. Two months later, ahead of these has been Aragon, which at that time was below the average.

With the new normal, the rate of new positives fell to 194 (according to data from the Health Report published on August 13), the figure has been reduced throughout the country, except at a point where it has doubled and without precedents. Aragon is the only territory in Spain (between the 17 autonomous communities and the cities of Ceuta and Melilla) whose rate of cases per 100,000 inhabitants has grown from June 21. Although Madrid and Catalonia are still worrying below this, the Basque Country is also observed with special attention, which continues to exceed the average, as well as the Balearic Islands or Murcia, where the numbers of cases have been timidly reduced and remain close to that average. On the contrary, in Castilla y León and Castilla-La Mancha the figures have been reduced and they already occupy positions below the marked threshold.

Agreement of the Interterritorial Council of the National Health System in which the new restrictions are included in the face of the increase in positive cases of coronavirus. / Ministry of Health

Within the changed map, the age of the infected people also changes. The Minister of Health, Salvador Illa, insists in recent weeks that the average age of the newly infected is 40 years, while at the peak of the first wave this was more than 60 years old. According to the monitoring carried out by the Carlos III Health Institute, in data collected The country, the mean age in positive diagnoses was between 50 and 59 years in April; On the other hand, for August the variable has changed to between 30 and 39 years. That is to say, the virus now circulates among the young population, which in any case does not exempt risk groups, including the elderly.

Fewer hospitalizations and a warning

With the decrease in age, hospitalizations and fatalities have also decreased. In the new normal, the average number of positives requiring hospitalization is by 4.5% compared to the 50% that was registered in the first months until June 21. However, the difference is so high because, according to The countryIn the first wave, most cases were diagnosed in hospital centers. Likewise, today many of the positives are asymptomatic and, due to age, less serious, so they do not usually require income.

Thus, fatality has been significantly reduced by 96%, explained by the factors detailed above, but also by a fundamental question: more cases are diagnosed, which increases the denominator in the equation (deaths / cases). More CRP, more preparation, less age and less severity lead to few deaths per day. A flattering fact that however also depends on the territorial map. Until June 21, the difference in this regard by communities ranges from 6.71% in the Canary Islands to 17.27% in Extremadura. However, at present the proportion (lower in all cases) ranges from 0.12% in Navarra to 0.93% in Castilla y León. Targeted shoots are now the main difference markers.

All this is accompanied by less saturation of the health system. In hospitals and health centers, the deployment of action devices has some scope to attend to patients at a different pace, more likely to be observed than during the peak of the pandemic, when the collapse led to the inability to treat all positives equally.

Precisely from the Hospitals have begun to arrive new notices that recall the moments of greatest tension experienced in past months. Health professionals call for greater protection for the sector and insist on public awareness and on establishing specific measures to avoid that, by normalizing infractions and oversights, the scene returns to the starting point.

According to the latest figures from the Ministry of Health, last Friday there were 2,987 new infections, a figure that places the total figure at 342,813, which represents an increase of 5,479 cases in the accumulated. In the last week, in addition, 1,015 people have required hospitalization (46 in the ICU). Prevention is the biggest warning that the coronavirus continues to leave.

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