Posted: Saturday, May 1, 2021 3:07 PM
The month of April ends with 2,657 deaths from the coronavirus. A terrible figure which is however the lowest recorded since last summer. Over the past month, it has gone from 200 deaths per day from COVID-19 to around 90 per day.
This, despite the fear that the consequences of Holy Week would be disastrous at the epidemiological level, which managed to avoid the restrictions and also the advance of vaccination.
However, experts ask not to let our guard down. In this sense, the former director of WHO Daniel López Acuña urges not to think that we are facing “a wave”: “We are entering the month of May and we are with an average incidence of 230, with de many autonomous communities above the extreme risk ”, warns the specialist.
And it is that with an average incidence of the country of 229.2 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, eight territories remain at the highest alert level for this indicator: Aragon, Cantabria, Catalonia, Madrid, Melilla, Navarra, Euskadi and La Rioja.
A more controlled fourth wave
Last January, we started the year with a high incidence (279.51 cases on the last day of 2020), which climbed with the third wave to 886.67 cases in the fourth week. A trend which in April was milder, from the initial 154.76 cases to the incidence of 229.2 which reflects the latest health report.
“But that doesn’t mean it’s less important and less serious,” Acuña insists. In this sense, the month of April leaves more than 232,683 new infections in our country. A figure however three times lower than that recorded in January, when they were 814,854.
By comparing the epidemiological curves of the two waves, it is clear that growth was more controlled in this fourth wave, after the Easter holidays: some 116,000 new cases in the second half of April against the half-million recorded in the 15 last days.
A milder holiday effect Acuña attributes to the restrictions applied at Easter. “What would have happened if the restrictive measures for Easter had not been taken? Well, we would have a double impact at that time”, notes the expert.
The effects of vaccination
Vaccination also played a role in this smoother fourth wave. At the end of January, a month after the start of the campaign – which began on December 27 – Spain had succeeded in inoculating nearly a million and a half doses.
A figure which currently stands at more than 16 million: according to the latest Health report, 24.8% of the population already has at least one dose, while 9.9% already have the full diet. If it is calculated on the total population to be vaccinated, the proportion of vaccinated increases: 29.3% already have a dose and 11.7% already have the complete regimen.
This, despite the fact that the vaccination rate has been uneven in recent months: while the doses administered in January or February were less than two million, this figure doubled in March (when they were put in, they reached four million) and in April there were over eight million doses administered.
In this regard, Spain recorded two daily vaccination records this week, as it exceeded half a million doses administered in a single day. A vaccination process whose reflection “is expressed above all in mortality”, as Acuña explains: thus, April, with 2,657 deaths reported since day one, was the month with the fewest deaths since September, where there were 2,639.
However, there are five territories with an occupancy of their intensive care units (ICU) that exceeds 30% (Euskadi, Madrid, La Rioja, Catalonia and Ceuta) and the average age of people suffering from the disease has fallen, as well as the patients admitted to the ward and intensive care.
Thus, Acuña predicts that this summer will not be “normal”. “This summer it will even have to be more restrictive,” he defends himself. A few days before the end of the state of alert on May 9, we are facing its end with an incidence 20 times higher than in June of last year, when the first declined.