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MAPS: Where in Spain are the Covid-19 hotspots right now?

Spain is firmly in the grip of the second wave of coronavirus but infection rates differ vastly depending on the region and province in which you live and sometimes even the municipality.

MAPS: Where in Spain are the Covid-19 hotspots right now?
Maldita.es have produced an interactive map.

The latest data shows that 23,480 new coronavirus cases have been recorded across Spain since Friday, a decline from last Monday’s figure of 31,785.

This means that Spain now has a total number of confirmed infections since the start of the pandemic of 813,412. And with the latest 139 recorded deaths since Friday, the official total number of victims now stands at 32,225. 

But not everywhere in Spain is being affected in the same way with the epicentre still focused on Madrid and notable outbreaks in Navarra, Castile-León and La Rioja.

Spain's Health ministry produces a map that allows you to see the incidence rate recorded each week in each province in Spain based on data reported by regional health authorities.

Maldita.es has produced an interactive map that allows you to discover the cumulative incidence rate for every municipality where the data is provided, and it isn't always available for every town in every region in Spain. 

READ MORE: 

You can now use your phone to get up to the minute geographical information thanks to a new Google Map feature.

Google maps now offers data on Covid-19 outbreak on its navigation system on Android and iOS phones. To use it click on the Covid-19 info button in the “layers” drop-down menu in upper right corner of the screen.

It displays the average number of new cases per 100,000 inhabitants in that area of the map with a plus or minus to indicate whether the trend is upward or downward.

It uses a scale with colours from grey, through yellow to orange and then red to represent the number of cases with grey less than one case and deep red showing more than 40 cases.

How does Spain compare to the rest of Europe? 

Spain is for many weeks been top of the list of EU/EEA countries for the number of new cases per population size according European Centre for Disease Protection and Control (ECDC) with Spain currently the only country listed with more than 300 new cases per 100,000. 

In fact the 14-day cumulative incidence of coronavirus cases registered in Spain now stands at 302.7 cases per 100,000 inhabitants up from 270.7 three weeks ago.

Madrid authorities produce a map which allows you to see the latest data from each barrio or neighbourhood or “basica health zone” which is how it determines which areas faced extra restrictions in September. 

For incidences in Catalonia, check out the interactive map produced by the regional government that allows you to search for outbreaks and number of infections in each Catalan municipality.

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COVID-19

Spain rules out EU’s advice on compulsory Covid-19 vaccination 

Spain’s Health Ministry said Thursday there will be no mandatory vaccination in the country following the European Commission’s advice to Member States to “think about it” and Germany’s announcement that it will make vaccines compulsory in February.

Spain rules out EU's advice on compulsory Covid-19 vaccination 
A Spanish man being vaccinated poses with a custom-made T-shirt showing Spain's chief epidimiologist Fernando Simón striking a 'Dirty Harry/Clint Eastwood' pose over the words "What part of keep a two-metre distance don't you understand?' Photo: José Jordan

Spain’s Health Minister Carolina Darias on Thursday told journalists Covid-19 vaccines will continue to be voluntary in Spain given the “very high awareness of the population” with regard to the benefits of vaccination.

This follows the words of European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen on Thursday, urging Member States to “think about mandatory vaccination” as more cases of the Omicron variant are detected across Europe. 

READ ALSO: Is Spain proving facts rather than force can convince the unvaccinated?

“I can understand that countries with low vaccine coverage are contemplating this and that Von der Leyen is considering opening up a debate, but in our country the situation is absolutely different,” Darias said at the press conference following her meeting with Spain’s Interterritorial Health Council.

According to the national health minister,  this was also “the general belief” of regional health leaders of each of Spain’s 17 autonomous communities she had just been in discussion with over Christmas Covid measures. 

READ MORE: Spain rules out new restrictions against Omicron variant

Almost 80 percent of Spain’s total population is fully vaccinated against Covid-19, a figure which is around 10 percent higher if looking at those who are eligible for the vaccine (over 12s). 

It has the highest vaccination rate among Europe’s most populous countries.

Germany announced tough new restrictions on Thursday in a bid to contain its fourth wave of Covid-19 aimed largely at the country’s unvaccinated people, with outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel speaking in favour of compulsory vaccinations, which the German parliament is due to vote on soon.

Austria has also already said it will make Covid-19 vaccines compulsory next February, Belgium is also considering it and Greece on Tuesday said it will make vaccination obligatory for those over 60.

But for Spain, strict Covid-19 vaccination rules have never been on the table, having said from the start that getting the Covid-19 jabs was voluntary. 

There’s also a huge legal implication to imposing such a rule which Spanish courts are unlikely to look on favourably. 

Stricter Covid restrictions and the country’s two states of alarm, the first resulting in a full national lockdown from March to May 2020, have both been deemed unconstitutional by Spain’s Constitutional Court. 

READ ALSO: Could Spain lock down its unvaccinated or make Covid vaccines compulsory?

The Covid-19 health pass to access indoor public spaces was also until recently consistently rejected by regional high courts for breaching fundamental rights, although judges have changed their stance favouring this Covid certificate over old Covid-19 restrictions that affect the whole population.

MAP: Which regions in Spain now require a Covid health pass for daily affairs?

“In Spain what we have to do is to continue vaccinating as we have done until now” Darias added. 

“Spaniards understand that vaccines are not only a right, they are an obligation because we protect others with them”.

What Spanish health authorities are still considering is whether to vaccinate their 5 to 11 year olds after the go-ahead from the European Medicines Agency, with regions such as Madrid claiming they will start vaccinating their young children in December despite there being no official confirmation from Spain’s Vaccine Committee yet.

READ MORE: Will Spain soon vaccinate its children under 12?

Spain’s infection rate continues to rise day by day, jumping 17 points up to 234 cases per 100,000 people on Thursday. There are now also five confirmed cases of the Omicron variant in the country, one through community transmission.

Hospital bed occupancy with Covid patients has also risen slightly nationwide to 3.3 percent, as has ICU Covid occupancy which now stands at 8.4 percent, but the Spanish government insists these figures are “almost three times lower” than during previous waves of the coronavirus pandemic.

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