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COVID-19 : Questions and Answers | Coronavirus risk indicators in Spain

The Ministry of Health reported last Monday that the accumulated incidence at 14 days in the whole of Spain presents an average of 252.19 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, which means 42.53 cases less than on Friday (294.72). This figure, one of the covid risk indicators in Spain, places our country on the verge of abandoning the “very high” risk due to incidence, estimated at 250 cases.

[Sanidad notifica 535 muertes por COVID-19 desde el viernes]

What are the indicators to assess the risk of coronavirus in Spain?

As established in the document of coordinated response actions for the control of the transmission of COVID-19, they have been established to Nacional level and by territories a series of indicators in order to assess the risk due to coronavirus incidence. Their objective is to determine in what stage the evaluated territory is found and face de-escalation processes in the intensity of the measures when the evolution of the indicators makes it possible.

In this evaluation, indicators such as the epidemiological situation, the assistance capacity waves characteristics and vulnerability of the population, among others.

Likewise, Health points out that it is important to “emphasize” that “no single indicator is capable of giving a complete vision of the epidemiological situation”, in reference to these scenarios.

What are the different indicators risky? And its severity?

Health has established different degrees of severity based on different indicators but the one that is being followed so far, and which is in line with the one also adopted by the European Center for Disease Control (ECDC), is the cumulative incidence at 14 days . That is, cases confirmed in 14 days for every 100,000 inhabitants.

Following this asthma, a cumulative incidence threshold in 14 days of 25 cases per 100,000 inhabitants to consider that the risk begins to increase, and an upper limit of 150 to consider that the risk it is very high. In addition, an incidence greater than 250 per 100,000 population indicates extreme risk, which requires additional actions because it means that those implemented with incidents of more than 150 have not managed to control the transmission.

That is, the ranges would be as follows:

Greater than or equal to 25 cases of cumulative incidence is ideal and is classified as new normal. Greater than 25 and up to 50 cumulative incidence cases is a Low risk. Greater than 50 and up to 150 cumulative incidence cases is a Medium risk. Greater than 150 to up to 250 cumulative incidence cases is a high risk. Greater than 250 cases cumulative incidence is a very high risk.

Similarly, the recommendations of the European Council have also been adopted, establishing in 4% the positivity limit of diagnostic tests from which the transmission risk it looks increased. Regarding traceability, the WHO has published that at least 80% of cases must be correctly traced to achieve a controlled epidemiological situation.

In what situation is Spain? And the CCAA?

During the week of February 15 to 19, Spain started on Monday with an AI of 416.91, which implies a very high risk. However, these data were decreasing as the week progressed to be placed on Friday February 19 at 294.72. Last Monday, February 22, the AI ​​fell by 42.53 points, to 252.19 cases.

That is, with 252.19 cases, the country is on the verge of falling to “high” risk for coronavirus and leave the “very high”, in which it was since the beginning of the year due to the third wave that hit the national scene.

In addition, the director of the Center for the Coordination of Health Alerts and Emergencies (CCAES), Fernando Simón, affirmed that same Monday that there are already 11 autonomous communities that are below 250 cases “, which confirms according to Simón, the downward trend that has been observed in recent weeks.

In this sense, Health also explains that in addition to the indicators raised in relation to AI, a individualized assessment of the situation of the territory evaluated and take into account other possible indicators, including qualitative ones and those referring to equity in health and social vulnerability. All this to be able to determine with greater accuracy the level of risk of a territory. Furthermore, the indicators must always be interpreted dynamically, taking into account both the trend and the speed of change.

What other indicators exist and under what criteria?

The Ministry directed by Carolina Darias also takes into account other indicators to assess the risk of the territory or country, such as the cumulative incidence of diagnosed cases in 7 days, cumulative incidence of cases 65 or over diagnosed in 14 days, the occupancy of hospital beds due to COVID-19 cases or occupation of critical care beds for COVID-19 cases.

Depending on the indicator, the risk assessment associated with each of them also varies. In the case of the cumulative incidence at 7 days, the “very high” risk threshold is placed at more than 75 cases, compared to 150 for the incidence at 14 days. In the case of the incidence accumulates it in cases with 65 years or more, the threshold is 100 for the “very high” risk.