As families gathered and people across Spain travelled for the national holidays on December 6th and 8th, the number of Covid-19 cases across the country continued to rise. Spain is now approaching the high-risk category with 290 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.
The worst regions affected are Navarra with a 14-day incidence rate of 888 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, the Basque Country with 723 cases per 100,00 inhabitants and Aragón with 554 cases per 100,000, according to new data released on Wednesday.
The number of Covid-19 cases has increased the most in Asturias – by 343 percent and in Galicia by 206 percent.
Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez asked Spaniards on Wednesday to trust science, to be prudent, to make sure they’re vaccinated and to wear masks when necessary.
Countries across Europe have been reintroducing restrictions due to a rise in cases across the continent, as well as the emergence of the new Omicron variant. For example, on Wednesday the UK government announced a return to working from home, the use of Covid passes and the reintroduction of masks.
However, Spain still has significantly fewer Covid-19 cases than its neighbours. An average of 11,797 cases per day were reported in Spain in the past week, while France recorded more than 44,000 per day and the UK reported 47,000.
Scientists from the World Health Organization and the United States government said this week that the Omicron variant appeared to be no worse than other coronavirus strains but said more research was still necessary.
In preliminary results published on Wednesday, Pfizer and BioNTech said their vaccine “is still effective in preventing Covid-19, also against Omicron, if it has been administered three times”. But they warned that “the Omicron variant is probably not sufficiently neutralised after two doses”.