A hospital worker in an intensive care unit. / EFE

Covid patient intensive care unit pressure in Spain returns to the 'low risk' zone

Occupancy of ICUs by coronavirus patients has dropped below the 10 per cent level, far from the 45.3 per cent at the peak of the pandemic

MELCHOR SÁIZ-PARDO

The pressure on intensive care unit beds by patients with Covid-19 in Spain is improving and, on Wednesday (22 September), the ICUs officially re-entered the ‘low risk’ zone of being overwhelmed by the virus.

After some 10 weeks, the occupation of the units by patients with coronavirus fell below 10 per cent again, the bar that, according to the Ministry of Health, marks the "low risk" zone for saturation of the hospital intensive care units.

Throughout the pandemic one of the greatest fears for the Ministry of Health was hospitals being overwhelmed by coronavirus patients.

Wednesday’s drop to an average of 9.8 per cent, is a return to levels that have not been seen in official statistics since Friday, 16 July. At one point during the fifth wave Spain had 21.98 per cent of its more than 112,000 intensive care beds occupied by patients with coronavirus.

Even so, that was far from the 45.3 per cent of ICU beds dedicated to patients with the virus that was reached on 1 February.

With the drop below the 10 per cent barrier, the country returns to an area of ‘low risk’ of ICUs being overwhelmed, as it moves towards the "new normal" range that, according to the Ministry of Health traffic light system, would be achieved when it drops below 5 per cent.