27% of Covid infections were already omicron two weeks before Christmas

The new variant accounted for more than 50% of the cases in the Canary Islands and Madrid in the week of December 6 to 12.

A health worker performs a PCR.

On November 26, all the alarms went off due to the appearance of a new variant of Covid-19: omicron. A strain that has spread rapidly around the world and that, in Spain, already meant one in four new infections two weeks before Christmas.

According to the latest update on the epidemiological situation of the SARS-CoV-2 variants in Spain, published on December 27, the omicron variant already represented a 27.4% of the samples Randomly sequenced in the week of December 6-12.

These are consolidated data, according to this report. In previous updates, only 3% of cases of the omicron variant had been registered during the week mentioned above.

Archive image of a Covid test.

Archive image of a Covid test.

The most recent records, corresponding to the days between December 13 and 19, put the number of omicron cases at 20.5%. That is, most likely, this percentage will go up in future updates, when the data is consolidated.

If we look at the most recent data (the week of December 13 to 19), the new variant of Covid was already predominant in two autonomous communities. Is about Canary Islands and the Madrid’s community, which registered 54.8% and 55.4% of infections by this strain, respectively.

For their part, the Basque Country and Castilla-La Mancha registered 35.2% and 34% of cases of this new variant. Behind these regions, more than 28% of the new infections detected in Extremadura and Navarra were already omicron the week before Christmas.

In line with the national average – let us remember that it stood at 20.5% – are communities such as Cantabria, the Valencian Community and Galicia.

Omicron spreads

Despite the fact that there are autonomous communities that have a low registry of cases of the new variant, the truth is that omicron is spreading and the sixth wave of infections will not reach its peak until after kings, according to expert voices.

This forecast is based on the behavior of the strain in South Africa, where it was first detected. Here, the wave of infections has already begun to decline after having reached its maximum peak on December 18.

If omicron arrived in Spain at the end of November, following the same evolution as in South Africa, the peak would be reached shortly after Three Kings Day. Although preliminary, the data from KingdomUnited this weekend also seem to indicate that the limit for the increase in cases has been reached and that a decrease is predicted in the coming days.

At the moment, Spain registers record day after day of the accumulated incidence of Covid-19. This Wednesday, national statistics place it at 1,508 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, after having notified 100,760 new infections.

Several people are queuing for a PCR test.

Several people are queuing for a PCR test.

In the midst of this explosion of infections, the Ministry of Health and the autonomous communities have agreed, unanimously, reduce the quarantine days for positive cases from ten to seven days.

It was the Community of Madrid that first put this possibility on the table. At the press conference on Tuesday, the Deputy Minister of Health, Antonio Zapatero, defended this approach.

“The management of the pandemic now cannot be the same as that of a year or a few months ago due to the vaccination situation of the population and the clinical and epidemiological characteristics of this variant. Changes are taking place in the international context ”, said the deputy councilor.

And, that same day, the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommended shortening the quarantines to five days for positive cases.

A recommendation that Spain approves two days later, although with a seven-day quarantine. Even the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, has recognized the need to combine “public health, mental health and the economy.”