Spain’s Covid-19 infection rate has continued to accelerate; it was reported on Monday with health officials fearing that a fourth wave could be imminent.
The number of infections as measured over the last 14 days jumped from 151.8 on Saturday to 163.4 per 100,000.
The increase has placed further pressure on health services with hospitalisations rising and one in five intensive care units now occupied by COVID-19 patients.
Fernando Simón, the director of the Health Ministry’s Coordination Center for Health Alerts (CCAES), confirmed that cases were rising quickly and that pressure was now beginning to mount on the country’s health services.
However, he stressed that the increase in cases was slower than experienced during previous waves that had swept the country and that Spain was still being impacted less than neighbouring countries.
Simón attributed this to the country’s vaccine rollout with over 8.7 million people now vaccinated against the virus.
"What is clearly decreasing is the number of deaths, which has a lot to do with the immunisation of the elderly and the most vulnerable," he told a news conference.
Spain had seen 10,360 new cases since Saturday taking the total tally to 3,311,325. Sadly, the death toll has also continued to rise with another 85 reported deaths taking the total to 75,783.
In comparison, France where fresh lockdown measures are now in place saw their infections spike with the number of new cases surging to 70,000 on Sunday.
Spain Takes Delivery Of Largest Batch Of Vaccines
On Monday, Spain took delivery of more than 1.2 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech jab and will continue to receive similar numbers throughout April, Health Minister Carolina Darias confirmed in a news conference.
Darias reiterated that the government was still on track to meet its target of vaccinating 70% of the country’s 47 million adult population by the end of summer stating that the goal was still “within its reach”.
Data published on Monday showed that more than 8.7 million people had now received at least one vaccine shot with over 2.8 million of those receiving the full two doses.
Figures suggest that more than 44% of those over the age of 80 and considered to be the most vulnerable group, have now been immunised with two doses with more than 80% receiving one.
“We are on track to achieve collective immunisation,” Darias said.
It comes as authorities continued to restrict travel between regions over the Easter period. However, many bars and restaurants have remained open with social media videos showing numerous parties and large crowds gathering despite the restrictions.
During the Easter break, it was reported that 99 people were arrested with over 8,000 people receiving fines for breaking the rules.
Image Credit: La Moncloa - Junta Castilla y León