Spain sees Covid-19 infections double in just 20 days, with hospital admissions growing by 14% in a little over a week.
The Spanish health ministry has said that although the rate at which infections are spreading is still less than during the summer of 2020, it is essential that the country proceeds with caution.
With 74,683.916 people already vaccinated, 37,519.860 of whom have received two doses, some sources are beginning to talk of a sixth wave of the virus due to its evolution.
The rise in infections and talk of a potential new wave corresponds with the number of foreign tourists visiting the country again, restrictions ending one and a half months ago and a drop in the temperature. With temperatures dropping indoor socialising is happening more often and this allows the virus to spread more easily.
In the first few weeks of November, the region of Valencia has seen the number of active cases nearly double to 5,305 and have been climbing steadily since. The incidence rate is currently almost 114 cases per 100,000 residents, which is considerably lower than previously but still much higher than what is regarded as a ‘safe level’.
Data on other Spanish regions that was posted by the Ministerio de Sanidad on November 19, shows that for the 14 days previous, Andalucia’s incidence rate was 60.71 per 100,000 residents with Murcia at 109.05 per 100,000 residents. The region with the highest number of cases was Navarra with an incidence rate of 311.4 per 100,000 residents and Cueta had the lowest number with 42.75 per 100,000 residents.
The Spanish health authorities have stated that it is important for people to continue taking precautions by using face masks, keeping their distance and washing and sanitising their hands.
At this moment in time, there has been no talk of any further restrictions being put in place. However, if Covid infections double in the coming weeks, it is more than likely that the health authorities will be forced to act and some restrictions could be put in place over the Christmas period.
The current situation in Spain mirrors that of other European countries. In Austria, a national lockdown has been put in place following a worrying rise in the number of cases, which currently stand at almost 1,100 per 100,000 people.
A mandatory vaccination order, which will start from February 2022, has also been imposed. This is due to the fact that Austria’s vaccination rate is one of the lowest in Europe, with around 65 per cent of the population having received both doses of the vaccine.
Protests are taking place right across Europe with Austria, Belgium, Croatia and the Netherlands seeing people take to the streets in protest to new Covid rules.
The World Health Organisation says it is now “very worried” about the recent rise across the whole of Europe, as the continent struggles with a new wave of infections.
Image Credit: Pool Moncloa/Fernando Calvo