As feared the repercussions of the Easter holidays on new infections in Spain appear to be following a similar pattern to the third wave that followed the Christmas break.
As of Tuesday April 20th, Spain has a fortnightly infection rate of 230 cases per 100,000 people.
On March 23rd, the figure stood at 128 cases per 100,000, more than 100 points lower, but the rate has snowballed particularly in the past two weeks.
From Friday April 16th to Monday April 19th, Spain’s infection rate increased by 17 points.
There are currently six regions that have surpassed the “extreme” infection risk level of 250 cases per 100,000 inhabitants: Navarra (428.8), Madrid (406.7), the Basque Country (399.7), Aragon (271.6), Andalusia (263.4) and Catalonia (254.3), as well as the autonomous cities of Ceuta (405.1) and Melilla (516.8).
Put together, the six regions have a joint population of 27 million, over half Spain’s 47 million.
Five other autonomous communities fall in the Spanish Health Ministry’ “high” risk category, with more than 150 infections per 100,000 people: La Rioja (234.1), Castilla y León (210.7), Cantabria (208.1), Castilla-La Mancha (204, 7) and Asturias (169.8).
Two other Spanish regions currently have “moderate” infection risk levels with more than 100 cases per 100,000 people: the Canary Islands (140.5) and Extremadura (135.9).
And four of Spain’s autonomous communities have managed to keep the virus under control after the Easter break, with a “low” fortnightly infection rate of under 100 cases per 100,000: Galicia (90.1), Murcia (68.2), the Balearic Islands (60.6), and the Valencian Community (39.3).
Most impressive of all is the Valencia region’s case, which has seen its infection rate increase by only 8 points in the last month, resisting the fourth wave of the coronavirus and still recording one of the lowest incidence rates of all of Europe.
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The urgency of getting as many of Spain’s inhabitants vaccinated promptly seems more pressing than ever as the country reported 21,071 new cases just over the weekend and 121 deaths since Friday.
Hospital occupancy has risen by 8.3 percent nationwide and pressure in ICUs has gone from 18.4 percent to 22.4 percent.
However, for Spain’s chief epidemiologist Fernando Simón the figures are not as worrying as during Spain’s previous coronavirus waves, telling journalists at a press conference on Monday that “mobility and contacts at Easter have not had an excessive effect” on infections.
“The evolution is good although we cannot lower our guard,” Simón added, stating that the increase in cases in recent days has stabilised, although he warned that “we must wait to see the data over the next couple of days. “
“The fourth wave “does not seem to be as large as the second and third waves,” he concluded.