EXPLAINER Why high COVID-19 infections don’t reflect the full pandemic situation in the Costa Blanca area of Spain

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OVER 22,000 coronavirus cases were reported this Friday in the Valencian Community but hospital admissions are over 50% lower than 12 months ago.

The regional Health Ministry today announced 22,081 new COVID-19 infections, verified by PCR and antigen tests.

On January 14, 2021 there were 6,240 infections.

There are early indications that the current infection rate may have peaked or is close to peaking as cases caused by social gatherings over the festive Christmas and New Year season work their way out of the system.

COMPARE AND CONTRAST

Despite a big obsession with top-line line infection numbers, making year-on-year statistical comparisons reveal the true underlying situation in the Valencian Community.

A combination of vaccinations and less severe illnesses caused by the Omicron variant appear to be the main factors to contrast with last year’s position.

Ten deaths were reported this Friday compared to 57 a year ago.

Hospitalisations are over 50% lower than on the same date last year, despite COVID infections being almost four times higher.

Today’s hospital admission total is 1,464, compared to 2,993.

Intensive care cases stand at 189 patients in contrast to 440 on January, 14, 2021.

WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKES

A year ago the Valencian government was getting ready to introduce weekend border closures in major population areas.

There were night curfews while hospitality was about to close for six weeks having been forced into daytime hours only on January 7.

The region’s measures were some of the toughest in Spain as it grappled with some of the biggest infection and hospitalisation rates in the country.

This time round, armed with statistics that show a very different picture, Ximo Puig’s administration has kept things largely as normal, albeit with the use of the COVID passport.