Spain’s Ministry of Health confirmed on Wednesday that another 446 people had lost their lives to COVID-19, with the total number of deaths now surpassing more than 70,000 since the pandemic began.
Unfortunately, the number of fatalities is thought to be significantly higher than this. Only those who were identified as having COVID-19 prior to their deaths were included in the figures due to limited testing at the start of the pandemic.
Despite the grim milestone being reached, the number of daily cases has dropped significantly due to lockdown restrictions and the country’s vaccination program which to date has vaccinated more than 4 million citizens.
The Ministry of Health has a target of vaccinating 70% of the country’s 47 million population by the end of summer.
On Wednesday, the Ministry reported a total of 6,137 new Coronavirus infections, which represents the lowest daily number since the middle of August. It means that the total number of recorded infections has now reached 3,136,321.
The 14-day incidence rate has also plummeted recently with the number of cases per 100,000 people now standing at 159 compared to 900 at the end of January.
There are now five regions where the 14-day incidence rate has fallen below 100 including Murcia, Comunidad Valenciana, La Rioja, the Balearics and Extremadura which is close to dropping below 50.
Many believe the easing of restrictions over the Christmas and New Year periods was responsible for the large increase in infections during the devastating third wave.
In a bid to prevent the spread of more transmissible variants of the virus, Spain recently made it mandatory for those travelling into the country from Brazil and South Africa to quarantine for 10 days.
This has now been extended to another 10 countries including anyone coming from Botswana, Comoros, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Peru or Colombia will also have to isolate themselves upon arrival.
The restrictions are due to begin from midnight on March 8 and will last for at least 14 calendar days.
To date around 54 new cases of the South African variant have now been identified along with a handful of the Brazilian strain which was first discovered in Manaus.