Covid-19: Madrid exceeds one million infected: 1,009,571 since the beginning of the pandemic | Madrid

Madrid has exceeded one million infected by covid this Wednesday: there are 1,009,571 accumulated cases since the health crisis began. With 16,132 positives registered in the last 24 hours, the incidence has grown to 1,011 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days. These are the figures that speak of the transmission, already completely uncontrolled. “97.9%” of the region’s territory “is at high and very high risk levels of transmission”, according to the analysis of the epidemiologist Gloria Hernández Pezzi on the latest data by basic health areas of the Community, from this Tuesday. “This percentage has approximately multiplied by six compared to the previous week” and the people affected by these levels of risk represent “98.7%” of the total population of the Autonomous Community. The data reflects, says Hernández, a “spectacular exponential upward trend.” And you have to take into account an added circumstance: the two weeks ahead.

Holidays. Greater mobility in cities and towns and between autonomies; trains, planes, buses, shared cars. Homecoming for university students and those who have a few days off; reunions of friends, temporary coexistence with family with whom one does not usually live, meetings, lunches and dinners with people of different generations. The cold and the interiors. And the absence of restrictions.

Health personnel attend to people queuing for a PCR in front of the University health center, in Malasaña, in Madrid, on December 20, 2021.
Health personnel attend to people queuing for a PCR in front of the University health center, in Malasaña, in Madrid, on December 20, 2021.Andrea Comas placeholder image

For the moment, Madrid refuses to activate measures as do the majority of autonomies, reluctant to impose limitations again, with the exception of Catalonia and the Basque Country. And except Asturias, Extremadura, Castilla-La Mancha, Castilla y León and Madrid, the rest of the communities do require the covid passport at different levels for restaurants, nightlife or visits to hospitals; Although this is a limited measure, according to experts, due to the high transmission of the virus and because vaccines are not sterilizing: you can be vaccinated and infected.

What the regional government has activated this Wednesday are several points to test the population with symptoms outside the emergency rooms of five hospitals: La Princesa, Fuenlabrada, Henares, Infanta Leonor and Sureste. This Thursday they will be incorporated on October 12, La Paz, Gregorio Marañón, Ramón y Cajal, Infanta Sofía, Torrejón, Alcorcón and Getafe; and on Friday the San Carlos Clinic and the Infanta Cristina will do it. But restrictions, however, Díaz Ayuso insists that “they are not necessary.”

It was reaffirmed this Wednesday at the conference of presidents with the central government: “On horseback riding, capacity, closures in the hotel industry, we believe that whoever wants to do it, can, but not drag everyone down.” This would conflict with emotional well-being. You have to be clear if you want to continue depressing the population and ruining massively, but it is not necessary. Yes you can study the issue of macro parties, because it can endanger the population.

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Macro-parties, such as those currently planned for New Year’s Eve in discos and various venues, actually occur on a smaller scale every weekend since the restrictions were lifted three months ago. Pandemic fatigue after 21 months of health crisis, socialization needs, especially among the young population, relaxation of the feeling of danger after many weeks of falling incidence and the protection of vaccines, added to the arrival of the omicron variant are some of the reasons that have caused the pandemic to run rampant in a matter of days.

The profile of contagions

Where and among whom are the infections mostly occurring? According to the latest epidemiological bulletin of the General Directorate of Public Health, this Tuesday, the highest accumulated incidence occurred last week in Pozuelo de Alarcón (789) and Boadilla del Monte (772); and in Madrid capital, in the districts of Chamberí (1,104) and Salamanca (1,051). At the other extreme, are the towns of Parla (357) and Aranjuez (351); and the districts of the capital of Usera (392) and Villaverde (380).

By age, the most up-to-date data are those of this Wednesday, from the Ministry of Health. And there the incidence skyrockets. Among those between 20 and 29 years old, it is 2,055, double that of the entire Community, and practically double the Spanish average for that age group (1,180). The second highest, the following decade, thirty-something, with 1,455 cases per 100,000 inhabitants of that age.

A restaurant on Calle de Manuela Malasana, in Madrid, in December 2021.
A restaurant on Calle de Manuela Malasana, in Madrid, in December 2021.Bald Elm

These data, which have already been transferred in contagions, have not yet been reflected in hospital admissions, if they end up having it to a greater extent than up to now. But “to really see the repercussion there,” says epidemiologist Pedro Gullón, “we will have to wait a couple of weeks.” In this level of care, growth has also been taking place, but in a much smoother curve thanks to the vaccine, which protects against the disease from worsening and which reaches 88.6% of the population with the full regimen (a percentage, on the other hand, stagnant for days).

In the last week, 752 people have needed an admission to the ward and 80 a bed in intensive care units; those units, with 163 patients this Wednesday, have 35% of their places occupied by covid patients, 14.6% with the official figure of the ministry, which includes non-specific beds for critics, such as operating rooms or recovery after anesthesia. Also in the past seven days, 63 people have died from the virus.

Two key weeks

The focus is now on the Christmas holidays and what will happen after those two weeks. “You cannot lose sight of the social interactions that are going to take place these days,” says Gullón. Meetings between children, parents, grandparents and grandchildren can cause the transmission of covid, now the majority among the young population, to end up sneaking into the older groups. Of the 63 people who have died in the last seven days, the majority, 33, were between 80 and 89 years old; 10 were between 70 and 79; nine, more than 90; seven were between 60 and 69; two between 50 and 59 and another two were in their 1940s.

The regional government appeals to “individual responsibility” now as it has done since the health crisis began. And it leaves mostly in the hands of citizens to take precautions to avoid getting infected and infecting others.

The center of Madrid on December 18, 2021.
The center of Madrid on December 18, 2021. JUAN BARBOSA

On Tuesday, the Ministry of Health decided to change the case detection strategy: a positive in a self-diagnosis test already counts as a confirmed case. And this Wednesday he added the test points at the doors of the hospital emergencies. Because with primary care collapsed for days, health centers closed at night and on weekends, hospital emergencies beginning to tighten and admissions slowly rising, Madrid peaked this week in case detection, and Crawlers no longer encompass to assume the volume of contacts that is being produced.

Julián Domínguez, member of the Spanish Society of Preventive Medicine, Public Health and Hygiene says that “when this level of incidence is reached, the study of contacts collapses.” And that means that the ability to stop the transmission collapses, something that has already happened five other times.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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