On December 31, Valencians toasted semi-confined to leave 2020 behind, the most disastrous year of their lives.. The jump to 2021 had a psychological component, as if the next morning the coronavirus would be a bad memory. The arrival of the vaccine uncorked optimism. The new year has been a cold shower, and January, which ends today, has turned the most tragic month of the whole pandemic in the Valencian Community.. Hospitals are collapsed, the number of infections is around ten thousand per day and one out of four deaths in Spain is in the Comunitat Valenciana. In spring, the collective gestures pulled the cart. There was hope. Today, the weariness has settled in thousands of homes at a time when mental fortitude is essential.. Depression is gaining ground and is emerging as the main sequel to the coronavirus.
January has been the month of bad news. Experts said the holiday relaxation would pay off, but perhaps no one expected the catastrophe to be gigantic. More than half of the total coronavirus infections in the Comunitat have occurred in the last month. The latest update of the Ministry of Health reports 306,379 positive Valencians – consolidated data at 14 hours on 29 January, of which 157,582 have been diagnosed since January 1.
The Comunitat Valenciana went through the first wave of the coronavirus and the autumn crisis with some strength with respect to the rest of autonomies. On the last day of 2020 the contagion curve was 7.7% of the total in Spain.. In less than a month, that percentage has risen to 10.9%, which leads to the Valencian region to be at this moment the one with the worst numbers of the pandemic in Europe. The incidence exceeds 1,400 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, making it the worst nationally.
The spectacular increase in cases, which has not been able to stop with the measures of the Consell, has put the Valencian hospitals to the limit. The coronavirus has a three-week course: infection, admission and death. Today’s Covid-19 positives will be hospitalized in ten days and the deceased in twenty. A manual process and that leads experts to not yet set the turning point of a curve of positives that has become a wall, as said the president of the College of Physicians, Mercedes Hurtado.
January has been disastrous. The Minister of Health, Ana Barceló, acknowledged in the tribune of Les Corts that the transmission was “out of control” in the Comunitat. A limit situation that has broken the seams of the management of the Generalitat and that has bared the real shortcomings of the Botanicwith the field hospital evacuated by the wind as a symbol of the chaos. Moreover, the partners of the Consell have been more concerned with blaming each other for the situation than with joining forces to overcome the biggest crisis of the coronavirus -Twitter is the new parliamentary hemicycle-.
In January, the Ministry of Health has reported 7,482 deaths from coronavirus in Spain. Of these, 1,789 have occurred in the Comunitat Valenciana, so almost one – 22% – of every four deaths in 2021 has death stamp in the Valencian autonomy. With the latest official data published, the average number of deaths in January is 60 Valencians a day, a devastating figure.
In the last week, the reported deaths have not fallen below ninety a day, and almost a third are counted in nursing homes. The request to bury or cremate those who have died of the virus within 24 hours of their death is the X-ray of the chaos that is lived from the hospital doors inwards. The aim is not to accumulate bodies.
The latest update of the Daily Mortality Monitoring System (MoMo) reported an excess of deaths in the Comunitat since December 1 of 35.6% -2,746 deaths more than estimated-. In less than two months, the excess of deaths has been the same as from March to November.
The Valencian Community leads the incidence of positives in Spain. If during the last days of 2020 the 2,000 cases per day were an earthquake, in recent weeks ranging between 7,000 and 10,000, figures that have led to the Comunitat the closest thing to a full-blown humanitarian catastrophe. There are countries with a larger population that report fewer daily cases. 20% of the positives in Spain in January has been given in the Comunitat Valenciana.
The drama of the deaths recorded is the result of an overwhelmed hospital situation. There have been days that have been admitted through the doors of hospitals in Valencia more than 400 people. Non-Covid patients have been transferred to private hospitals while the public enabled corridors, chapels and cafeterias to cover the flood of admitted patients. For now, the almost 16 million euros spent on the field hospitals have not given the desired coverage to the Valencian health system. The bet for the open-air tents are an obvious failure.
In one month, have been admitted to hospitals in the Comunitat 8,802 people, according to government data, and about 14% have died. During the last few days the pressure on the floor has given some respite, without losing sight of the British strain, but the ICU does not stop adding units. In intensive care, 63% of patients is by Covid when on 31 December the percentage was 29%. The pressure on the ground zero of hospitals has doubled.
On Friday, at the same time that the beaches of the Comunitat lived outside the pandemic, the department led by the Councillor Ana Barceló reported 98 deaths. Yesterday, the same tone. The curve does not end to bend and the data do not point to an improvement in the short term. In the last 24 hours, the curve of infections must be added 7,990 new positive. In addition, 97 deaths were reported to bring the total number of deaths to 4,707 people since the beginning of the pandemic.
The truce is given in the admissions in plant, which continues to fall although at a moderate speed. There are now 4,338 people affected by Sars-CoV-2 when earlier this week they hovered around 4,800. Hospital care during this month of January has been limit, with 8,802 people entering the hospitals and with waits of more than ten hours for patients to occupy a bed. The number of floors with Covid patients multiplied week after week.
Half of the positive cases for Covid – 51% – in the Comunitat have been reported in the month of January. In ten months have been reported fewer cases than in thirty days, a comparison that reflects the stressful situation that exists in the Valencian region. The cumulative incidence per 100,000 inhabitants in the last two weeks is 1,431 positive -on December 31 was 390 cases-. Of the 592 municipalities, 375 have an incidence above 500 cases, the limit recommended by the European Union to shield a territory.
By provinces, Alicante, which has 66% of its ICUs occupied by Covid patients, is more worrying than any other. In addition, according to the latest update from the Ministry, the cumulative incidence in the last two weeks is more than 1,700 cases.
One of the keys is the positivity rate. The Comunitat maintains a value of very high risk in this section with three positive tests out of every ten that are performed. The World Health Organization states that the ideal situation is below 5% and the Valencian autonomy multiplies it by six. While the positivity rate does not fall, it will be difficult to bend the curve.