Last week saw 47 people lose their lives due to Covid-19 in the province of Alicante and the the daily number of infected people also continued unabated. The Ministry of Health notified 640 new cases on Thursday, representing an increase of 90 infections compared to the previous day. In the whole of the Valencian Community, 2,136 people were infected on Thursday. This sustained increase in cases that the province has been experiencing for weeks continues to translate into more pressure on hospitals.
Despite the fact that there is no prospect that the incidence of the disease will decrease across the Community, the president of the Generalitat, Ximo Puig , remains reluctant to tighten the restrictions and last week reiterated that the Community “is not going to apply more restrictions compulsively” Rather, the measures adopted will be done with the utmost “serenity and persistence.” Puig spoke like this after attending a business summit on the Mediterranean Corridor.
researchers from the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV) and the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) foresee that the number of COVID-19 infections will reach its peak in Spain at the end of November, the number of hospitalisations will continue to grow until the first of December and that of deaths until the beginning of 2021.
The researchers have published a study in which, based on a computational model, they simulate what would be the result of the early use of antivirals against covid-19, once they are available in pharmacies, and their impact on the evolution of the pandemic in Spain.
It is feared that public health trackers in the province are in an ‘unsustainable’ situation as cases flood in and overwhelm resources. The Province of Alicante has just seven contact tracing centres with around 300 workers in total. Each centre, except the one in Alicante, which is larger, has received a reinforcement of five trackers, a doctor and two nurses, in addition to having military support. However, this staff increase falls short to face this second wave of the pandemic and when a good part of the task of tracking health centres has been removed so that it is done by Public Health. These services are also in charge of managing outbreaks in schools and companies.
To give an example of the scale of the problem: a tracker takes between 15 and 30 minutes to complete a complete survey, which means that per hour it can take three to four surveys. Between 30-35 a day. If there are five trackers a day, the centre can handle about 150 surveys a day. However, currently 300 surveys a day are entering some departments. Even by reinforcing the trackers, it is difficult to keep up with this growing volume of positive case reports. Of course the concern is that the consequences of the work overload experienced by these professionals directly affects the management of the pandemic.