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COVID-19

LATEST: The maps and charts that show where Covid rates are rising rapidly in Spain

Spain is in the grip of the third wave of coronavirus infections with cases rising all across the nation.

LATEST: The maps and charts that show where Covid rates are rising rapidly in Spain
Map and graph from Spanish Health Ministry

Spain has reported a record rise in coronavirus cases over the weekend, with the rate of infections soaring from an average across Spain of 575 cases per 100,000 to 689 in just three days.

The latest health ministry data released on Monday reported 84,300 new cases since Friday, bringing the cumulative total to 2,336,451.

 

The death toll rose by 455 over the same period to the official figure of 53,769, although Spain’s National Statistics Agency puts the figure closer to 80,000.

The latest daily infections reached a new record with Fernando Simón, Spain’s chief epidemiologist saying at the government press conference on Monday: “We could be reaching the peak of the third wave.”

The overall cumulative incidence rate for the past 14 days in Spain has now reached 689.27 per 100,000 inhabitants, the highest figure it has been throughout the pandemic. 

On Friday the figure was 575 and a week ago (Monday January 11th) it was 435.

The charts above show the cumulative incidence rate across each of Spain's regions. Source: Spain's Ministry of Health Jan 18 2021

But alarmingly, it has reached over 700 in seven regions across Spain:Madrid (789),  Valencia (896), Castilla y León (910), La Rioja (920), Castilla La Mancha (1,006), Murcia (1,081), Extremadura (1,383).

This interactive map produced by porcential.es shows the number of cases, infection rates and deaths in each of Spain's regions.

What about the hospitals?

Fernando Simón said that the situation was serious in hospitals with “Some ICUs operating at their very limits right now,” he said adding that several hospitals across Spain have suspended non-urgent procedures to focus on Covid-19 cases.

The latest data shows that there are currently 23,184 people being treated in Spanish hospitals for Covid-19, of which 3,287 patients are in intensive care.

This now represents a 32.71 percent, or one in three, occupation of intensive care beds by Covid-19 patients all across Spain.

However, the percentage of covid cases in ICU rises to more than 50 percent in Valencia (52.8percent) and is critical in La Rioja (46.7), Catalonia (46.1) Balearic Islands (42.7) Madrid (42.1) and Castilla-La Mancha (37.9).

The interactive map shows the percentages of ICU occupancy with the darker the blue, the higher the percentage.

 

 

 

How many people are dying from Covid-19?

The official figure from the Health Ministry for the total number of Coronavirus related deaths on Monday January 18th is now 53,769 – an increase of 455 since Friday. An increase on the figure of the past weekend when 401 deaths were reported..

Across Spain a total of 843 Covid-19 related deaths have been recorded in the past 7 days. Here is a breakdown of the data across Spain:

Spain has not yet reached the same peak of deaths as it did in the second wave when 537 deaths were registered in a 24 hour period on November 24th.

The peak of recorded deaths for a 24-hour period during the ‘first wave’ was on April 2nd when 950 death were registered.

These charts show the evolution of coronavirus in Spain since July, recording infections, hospitalizations, ICU occupancy and deaths.

 

 

 

How does Spain compare?

Spain's infection rate is currently above that of both the USA and the United Kingdom

This chart shows the evolution of the coronavirus in Spain compared to other countries:

 While this map shows the cumulative incident rate of EU countries in the first week of January.

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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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