The number of Coronavirus infections in Spain has seen a huge spike in recent weeks, especially among those between the ages of 20-29.
On Wednesday, the Health Ministry reported that the number of 14-day cumulative cases nationwide stood at 252 per 100,000, the first time the number had exceeded the 250 “extreme risk” threshold since late February.
However, for young people, this number had spiked to 717 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, up 77 points in just one day.
The Delta variant which was first discovered in India is now thought to be the most dominant strain in the country, especially in the regions of Madrid, Catalonia, Valencia and Navarre where numbers have recently surged.
On Wednesday evening, the Ministry of Health published their latest figures which showed that there had been a further 17,384 new cases and another 17 deaths registered in the past 24 hours.
However, the most worrying aspect of the report was the number of cases recorded over the past 14 days for those in the 12-19 and 20-29 age groups, which are largely unvaccinated.
For the 12-19-year-old group, the 729 cumulative cases were recorded with the largest figures registered in Castilla y León (1,365), Catalunya (1,473) and Navarra (2,323).
However, it was the 20-29-year-old group where the numbers saw the biggest overall increase with 814 new registered cases. The largest numbers were reported in Asturias (1,202), Castilla y León (1,552), Cantabria (1,702) and Catalunya (2,009).
Government Rules Out Further Nationwide Restrictions
Despite the recent increase in the number of Covid-19 cases, the government insists that it has no intention of re-introducing further nationwide restrictions to halt the spread.
Instead, it will be down to the regional governments to implement their own measures as required.
The recent spike in cases in the Catalonia region has led the regional government on Tuesday to announce new restrictions on nightlife in a bid to prevent further contagion among its younger citizens.
From Friday, all indoor nightlife venues will be closed with the measures set to last for at least 15 days. The move will aim at relieving the pressure on primary healthcare centres and local hospitals which have seen a 33 per cent rise in admissions over the past 10 days.
A number of regional governments including in Catalonia and the Basque Country are also pushing for the continued use of face masks in public due to fears over the recent rise in infections.
Fears Over the Lambda Variant
There are also concerns about the Lambda strain of the virus (C.37) which was first discovered in Peru, South America. Some experts believe that the mutant strain could be even more infectious than previous strains and have the ability to resist the vaccines currently being rolled out.
Discovered only two weeks ago, the strain has already been found in over 31 countries including Spain where it is now believed to account for around 5 per cent of all new infections.
Vaccination Rollout Continues
Meanwhile, Spain’s vaccination program continues to gather pace with government figures released on Wednesday revealing that 20 million citizens have now received their full vaccination dose.
Furthermore, almost 27 million people have now had at least one dose accounting for around 57 per cent of the Spanish population.
The vast majority of the most vulnerable and those over the age of 50 have now had at least one dose, although to date just 1.7% of the 12-19 group and 14.4% of the 20-29 group where infections have seen the biggest rise, have been vaccinated.
Around 42 per cent of Spanish citizens have now been fully vaccinated against the virus.
Image Credit: Pool Moncloa/Borja Puig de la Bellacasa