Covid: 4 pressing alarms

29 March, 2021

Covid controls in Madrid
  1. Mortality caused by Covid is rising disproportionately compared to incidence
  2. Most likely because the new dominant variant causes a more serious disease and higher mortality
  3. Contagions are concentrated in the working age group and the opening of schools and educational institutions accounts for 26% of infections
  4. European vaccination targets do not seem sensible even if vaccination rates were to be drastically increased

Mortality caused by Covid is rising disproportionately compared to incidence

This is something we have been seeing and continue to observe in Brazil. And the data are starting to reflect a similar situation in the rest of the world wherever vaccination is still not massive. In Spain, on Tuesday the government reported 201 deaths from Covid during the previous 24 hours, an extremely high number for the reported cumulative incidence. On Wednesday it was 320. On Thursday 356. And yesterday, Friday, a whopping 590 deaths.

Most likely because the new dominant variant causes a more serious disease and higher mortality

The first published studies on the British Covid variant, now the dominant one throughout Europe, conclude by stating:

A 61% (42-82%) higher risk of death associated with B.1.1.7. Our analysis suggests that B.1.1.7 is not only more transmissible than pre-existing SARS-CoV-2 variants, but may also cause more severe disease.

Increased mortality in community-tested cases of SARS-CoV-2 lineage B.1.1.7. Davis et alter, Nature.

Contagions are concentrated in the working age group and the opening of schools and educational institutions accounts for 26% of infections

Covid USA: Contagions are concentrated in the working age group and the opening of schools and educational institutions accounts for 26% of infections

This week, the first analysis of data on how pandemic infections occur in the US was published in Science. Scientists concluded with two wake-up calls: keeping schools open caused 26% of infections and the 20-49 age group, the bulk of the working-age population, contributes disproportionately to infections.

European vaccination targets do not seem sensible even if vaccination rates were to be drastically increased

Although at this week’s European summit Von der Leyen insisted that Europe is on track to get 70% of the population vaccinated by summer, the data do not bear out her claim. As published by the newspaper El País, only 20% of the population would be vaccinated by the end of September at the current rate (graph on the left). If the rate were to be drastically increased, by the end of September the maximum that could be reached would be 58%.

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