CHARTS: How Spain’s infection rates look ahead of Christmas

CHARTS: How Spain's infection rates look ahead of Christmas
Photo: AFP
Spain seemed to have found success in flattening the curve of its second coronavirus wave, with data showing that infections had been on a downward trend since the peak in early November.

However, the latest figures from the Spanish Health Ministry showed an upturn with infections rising week on week for the first time since November 2, the date seen as the peak of the second wave across Spain.

 

Data published on Monday showed that 21,309 new coronavirus cases have been registered since Friday, 3,628 more than last Monday and 1,330 more than the Monday before that.

The 14-day cumulative number of cases per 100,000 inhabitants which had been steadily falling from its peak of 529.43 on November 9th but is on the rise again.

It now stands at 193.6 cases per 100,000 people, up from 189 on Friday, which is more than three times the rate of 60, which is when the EU considers a pandemic under control.

However the data shows that Spain is in a much better position than many other countries across Europe, with infection rates far below the UK, Germany, France and Italy.

It remains over 200 in eight regions: Aragón (227.93), Asturias (222.33), the Balearic Islands (280.13), Cantabria (242.31), Castilla La Mancha (228.40), Madrid (227.23), the Basque Country (268.46) and La Rioja (212.12) – as well as in the autonomous city of Melilla (227.78).

The hospital occupancy rate of Covid-19 patients has also increased slightly after falling nonstop since November 16th.

Coronavirus patients now occupy 9.61 percent of all hospital beds across Spain.

The Health Ministry added 389 Covid-19-related fatalities to the official toll, which now stands at 48,013.

The rise is particularly noticeable in the Balearic Islands, which have gone from being the region with the second-lowest incidence rate in all of Spain to having a 14-day cumulative number of cases per 100,000 inhabitants of 280.

The rise in infections has prompted authorities there to toughen regional restrictions over Christmas imposing a 10pm curfew for the next fortnight, even on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.

Fernando Simón, Spain’s chief epidemiologist referred to the rise as a “stabilization in the ongoing fall” as the latest data was announced on Monday evening.

“It is probably due to the relaxation of some measures before Constitution Day,” he said, in reference to the four day public holiday between 5 and 9 December.

“The risk of overwhelming the system because of any small rise is higher than we would like it to be,” he added.

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