Doctors demand urgent restrictions due to the risk of saturation of the ucis

  • They take for granted that there will be time and capacity limitations around Christmas

  • The Biocomsc foresees that at the beginning of January there will be about 350 patients in the critical units in Catalonia, like last year

27,140 new cases of covid-19 in just one day, which are those that Spain has registered in the last 24 hours (of which 5,845 are in Catalonia), indicate that things are getting ugly faster than anticipated. These more than 27,000 more cases represent the largest registry in Spain since last July 28 and represent, in the Catalan context, the historical record of this sixth wave. They are, in part, the effects of Constitution Bridge. And they make us fear, even more, the havoc that the Christmas, which start in just nine days.

All the experts consulted by this newspaper assume that in January, once the festivities are over, there will be more restrictions, Although the Generalitat insists that they are not on the table at least for the moment. But it is very possible that the capacity limitations and time closures, and that is precisely what the doctors and epidemiologists contacted by this newspaper are asking.

The Computational Biology and Complex Systems Group (Biocomsc) of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) predicts that, at the end of the month or beginning of January, there will be 350 people with coronavirus in ucis (There are 264 this Wednesday). “It is a figure from which hospitals will have to adjust its operation. It is quite likely that infections will continue to grow, but we do not know the rate. If they grow at a rate similar to that of the Bridge, the situation at the beginning of the year would be very worrying in hospitals “, explains the Biocomsc researcher Enric Álvarez Lacalle.

The Hospital de la Santa Creu y Sant Pau Barcelona, ​​for example, has already started suspend non-urgent surgeries. “Every day we have more patients. Today we have 21 in the plant and nine in ucis. We are not worse thanks to the vaccine; if not, the system would be collapsed or dead,” says the internist and coordinator of the hospital’s ‘covid plant’. Pere Sunday. It asks to approve measures “that minimize social interaction. “

Incidence like last year

Epidemiological indicators are, in fact, very similar to last year at this time. 2020 ended with 374 patients in ucis. Mortality is lower and those admitted to the conventional hospital ward, too. But if infections continue to skyrocket, cases of serious illness and deaths will rise. “Vaccination [en Catalunya está inmunizada el 84,8% de la población mayor de 12 años] manages to control the epidemic with much softer measures “, says Álvarez. However, it assumes that the vaccine ‘per se’ “not enough” to “contain growth” when there are “very many cases”.

The epidemiologist Joan Caylà also focuses on a worrying fact: the 17 deaths registered in Catalonia in the last 24 hours. “It is a figure that goes quite unnoticed and that means that we are normalizing the number of deaths. Two or three years ago, if a legionella outbreak had caused 17 deaths, it would have been a terrible impact, “says Caylà. He himself highlights, with concern, that among the In the Catalan population between 20 and 39 years old, 20% are not vaccinated. “We are talking about many thousands of people. There is a bag of people who are not immunized and who favor transmission. We should improve vaccination coverage a lot. “

This epidemiologist believes that the Government should take more measures, among other things, “because 10 days left until Christmas “, which will increase the incidence of the virus. “It would be better to go back to a night and / or perimeter confinement. In countries of the European environment, the incidence is higher than here. Other countries discotheques are closing. Yes, some measures would have to be taken like restricting night outings a lot, “says Caylà. According to him, without vaccines, the sixth wave would be “identical” to the first.

“Two thermometers”

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For the Head of Preventive Medicine at Hospital Clínic de Barcelona, Antoni Trilla, Although the pandemic is “on the rise” right now, it should be measured with two thermometers: one, that of the contagions and another, that of income and deaths. “The second is going up little by little, although we have to deprogram a little. That can be supported by the system. Countries like Denmark or Norway, With dire predictions, they have implemented measures not so different from ours, such as indoor masks, “says Trilla. increase vaccination rates Y advance in the third doses. And, also, avoid some Christmas “massive”.

As the former Secretary of Public Health of Catalonia recalls, Joan Guix, the sixth wave of covid-19 reminds that society “still in the tunnel” of the pandemic. He says that “more restrictions are needed”, but he also insists on the “economic and social impact” from the same. “I do not dare to make many prophecies. But we do not finish this easily,” he concludes.

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