Local Daily News 6th September
Puig waits until the last moment to define the de-escalation and whether curfew is extended
This past Sunday the president of the Generalitat Valenciana, Ximo Puig, did not announce the decision he was taking regarding the limitations, within an improved scenario, in which Orihuela is the only health department in the Community that continues to be at extreme risk from covid, although there are still 345 people hospitalized and 92 admitted to ICUs.
On other occasions, several days before reaching the date established for the end of some measures, the head of the Consell announced what the new ones would be. That has not happened this time. The Ministry of Health has not submitted to the Superior Court of Justice (TSJ) the request to maintain the curfew, which could mean the end of this restriction, despite the fact that nothing has yet been decided.
The president of the Community did announce last week that a “prudent” de-escalation would begin today, and the head of the Ministry of Health, Ana Barceló, pointed out that the good evolution of the data, together with the fall in incidence and the speed of vaccination “opens the doors to a new reopening scenario.” The terms of this scenario, whose decision is rushed until the last moment, will be known today after the interdepartmental meeting of the Generalitat for prevention and action in the face of the situation generated by the covid.
The Community is currently the third autonomous region with the least accumulated incidence in Spain; the reproductive index of the virus is below 1; it has half as many patients hospitalized for covid as at the end of July; and the fatality is 0.27%, five times lower than the average for the entire pandemic.
The only health department in Alicante, Valencia and Castellón that is at extreme risk from covid is Orihuela, where the incidence is 302 active cases per 100,000 inhabitants, with data from the 3rd of September. The previous week, with data from the 30th of August, there were seven departments in the province that were at this alert level, but most of the data has improved and is currently below 250, the rate that marks the beginning of the extreme risk.
Despite the improvement, the figures show complicated situations at the local level, where 13 municipalities in Alicante with more than 5,000 inhabitants are at extreme risk.
The Consell hasn’t determined if the students already vaccinated will quarantine after close contact with an infected person
There are just hours until schoolchildren in the Community over 12 years of age start this second face-to-face school year since the beginning of the pandemic. Many parents, associations of mothers and fathers of students, teachers and health workers wonder if already vaccinated schoolchildren who are studying ESO and Baccalaureate should be quarantined in the event that any of their classmates test positive for covid. The Generalitat, when discussing matters last week, was not clear about it.
When asked about education and health for this circumstance, they initially referred to the protocol in force from last year, which did not factor-in vaccination, an element that has already been implemented in other communities where they will not have to be quarantined if the student is immunized. The ministries clarified that in any case they are working on an update that is expected to be released this Monday.
From the Ministry of Education they finally explained that the decision is “exclusively health related, and is the responsibility of the Ministry of Health, which is currently working on updating the COVID-19 Case Management Protocol in non-university educational centers in the Valencian Community for the 2021-2022 academic year”. In addition, they show that “in the next few days” they will receive the protocol and send it to the Valencian educational centers, in addition to publishing it on the website of the Generalitat Valenciana aulasegura.es so that all families can be made aware of it.
Thus, and having been in contact with the Ministry of Health, the department headed by Ana Barceló revealed that “these possible modifications in the Ministry’s presentation of epidemiological alerts are currently under study. They will be resolved shortly and will be applicable to existing protocols. “
It is not surprising that today, Monday the 6th of September, many parents, teachers, educational centers and associations ask both councils for answers about what determination will be carried out when a school child has to be kept in isolation: if the students who are sat at the desk next to, in front of and behind, either the whole class or only the students who are not vaccinated.
A question that already has an answer in other autonomous communities such as the Balearic Islands or Catalonia, where those vaccinated who are close contacts of those infected will not have to be quarantined.
From Primary Care they reiterate “the lack of coordination between the two regional ministries on the dates in which we meet, at the beginning of September. We health workers thought that on the 1st of September, the protocols would already be updated based on epidemiological data since we are in constant coordination with Public Health”. Likewise, health sources state that “it is we, the health centers together with Public Health who manage the positive cases of each municipality.” It is, in short, “a lack of foresight at the beginning of the school year with the experience we have after a year and a half of the pandemic.”
Researchers from Alicante achieve a treatment to combat thrombosis generated by covid
Thrombosis is one of the most common and serious complications suffered by patients with coronavirus and it is estimated that it affects up to 25% of patients admitted to the ICU. Being able to know in advance which patients are going to suffer from it and thus adjust the medication is the objective of two scientific studies led by doctors from the General Hospitals of Alicante and Sant Joan.
In the case of the General Hospital of Alicante, those responsible for this research have studied two proteins in the blood that are related to pulmonary embolism, a serious complication that can trigger multi-organ failure and even death.
“These proteins, called Willebrand Factor and Adamts-13, are responsible for the systemic inflammatory response that affects the endothelium, which is the layer of cells that lines veins and arteries,” explains Pascual Marco, head of the Hematology service at the General Hospital from Alicante and principal investigator of this study. Both markers must always be in balance – the moment when one of them decompensates, coagulation problems occur. This study has been the third published internationally on these markers.
In this project, data has been collected from 152 patients diagnosed with coronavirus at the General Hospital of Alicante, “some of them were admitted to the ICU, another percentage in the ward and another part were patients who suffered covid at home.” The researchers verified how the patients admitted to the Intensive Care Unit had decompensation in these two proteins. In this way, researchers have been able to provide a method that, based on a blood test of patients admitted with coronavirus, allows us to know which patients may be at higher risk of suffering a pulmonary thromboembolism and thus adjust anticoagulant medication to avoid this complication.
The study has been developed by the Research Group in Hematology and Hemotherapy of the Institute of Health and Biomedical Research of Alicante in collaboration with the Covid Group of the General Hospital of Alicante. Precisely, as Dr. Rosario Sánchez, Head of the Internal Medicine Section and member of the Covid Group, comments, “a therapeutic approach guide agreed by the Covid Group and the Thrombosis Commission, based on the recommendations of international guidelines, has been used. In fact, during the first two waves of the pandemic, the incidence of thrombotic disease in non-critical patients admitted to the General de Alicante was between 1.8 and 2.5%, compared to 8-10% recorded in the scientific literature”. The results of this research could help to optimize this clinical guideline.
The second investigation is led by the Internal Medicine service of Sant Joan, directed by Dr. Vicente Giner, and it uses the blood marker called D-Dimer to predict the risk that a patient admitted for coronavirus suffers from thrombosis. In this way, the medication can also be adjusted according to the risk of each patient. The results of this research, signed by 25 members of the Spanish Society of Internal Medicine, have been published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine (JGIM). In this study, data from 9,386 patients included from 150 hospitals were analyzed, of which 2.2% had suffered thrombosis. In the study, more than 66 variables were analyzed in order to determine the optimal cut-off value of plasma D-Dimer at admission as a potential identifier of the patient at risk of developing thrombosis complications and as an aid in deciding the intensity of anticoagulation to apply since admission to the hospital.
The AVE favors the arrival of tourists to Orihuela, which doubles occupancy data
It has been a satisfactory summer in terms of tourism results in the municipality of Orihuela. More than 3000 people visited the city’s tourist office interested in knowing its innumerable tourist attractions that includes its rich historical, cultural, and environmental heritage, its beaches, its garden, gastronomy and the various activities and events organized by this council that has delighted those who have decided to plan their trip and stay in Orihuela.
Of those people who went to the tourist office, more than 60% responded to national tourism led by people from Madrid, Valencia and Andalusia. As for international tourism, this was led by Belgium, France and the United Kingdom.
Regarding hotel occupancy, Orihuela has received more than double the number of visitors than in the same period of the previous year. The travelers and visitors have chosen Orihuela as a safe and accessible destination, and it is in a very strategic area where “everything is close”, now much more since the arrival of the AVE, which in the month of August 5,500 people made use of of the high speed train to come to Orihuela.
Social Welfare faces the beginning of the year of the associations of the elderly in Orihuela
The Councilor of Social Welfare, Almudena Baldó, has met with the representatives of the different associations for the elderly in order to inform them about the use of the different centers for the elderly owned by the municipalities by the entities, after the summer break and as to the instructions of the health authorities, and give an account of the beginning of the workshops that the aforementioned council provides to the elderly to promote active aging.
In this sense, Baldó has taken the opportunity to propose future actions that could be carried out in anticipation that the epidemiological situation is maintained over time. “We are proposing to carry out different outdoor and sports activities that will be outlined with the participation of other councils, such as Rural Development, and collaboration with the aforementioned associations,” commented the mayor.
For the development of all activities from the Department of Social Welfare, masks will be distributed to all users who participate in the workshops that will be resumed when the incidence of covid allows.