The Spanish Health Ministry reported on Monday 17,591 new coronavirus cases, a number that covers the weekend, given that no data is released on Saturdays and Sundays. This is the lowest weekend figure since August 14. The total number of infections since the beginning of the pandemic now stands at 1,702,328.
From the latest report, two conclusions can be reached on the effect of the measures that have been introduced since the Spanish government declared a state of alarm on October 26 – both on a regional level, such as limits on capacity and the closure of the hostelry sector, as well as on the national level, such as the nighttime curfew. The first is that the incidence rate of the coronavirus is falling. According to Monday’s report, the 14-day cumulative number of cases per 100,000 inhabitants now stands at 215.10. This figure has been falling nonstop since November 9.
The cumulative death toll over the last seven days fell to 1,577, the lowest figure since the counting methodology changed on November 2
The second conclusion is that the situation in Spain is becoming more even across the territory. Without counting the Canary Islands, where the 14-day cumulative number of cases per 100,000 inhabitants has varied between 74 and 87 since October 26, the difference between the incidence rate in Spain’s territories has shrunk significantly. When the state of alarm was declared, the worst-affected region at the time, Navarre, had an incidence rate of 1,102, while the least-affected (not counting the Canary Islands), the Balearic Islands, had an incidence rate of 170 – a difference of 931.8. This has now fallen 85% to just 136 – the 14-day cumulative number of cases per 100,000 inhabitants is 308.7 in the Basque Country, compared to 172.7 in Murcia.
The reason for this fall is that the incidence rate in the hardest-hit territories, such as the North African exclave city of Melilla, where the 14-day number of cases per 100,000 inhabitants reached 1,356 on November 2, has fallen sharply, but remained stable in the least affected areas. In other words, in the territories with the best epidemiological data, it is harder for the coronavirus incidence rate to fall below the mark of 170 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. According to the latest report, there is now no territory (the report includes data from the country’s 17 regions and two exclave cities, Melilla and Ceuta), where the incidence rate is above 310, nor that is below 170, except for the Canary Islands. Given the low number of new weekend cases, the incidence rate is likely to continue on a downward trend.
As Monday was a holiday in parts of the country, the Health Ministry report did not include data on the occupation rate of Covid-19 patients in hospitals and intensive care units (ICUs). With respect to Covid-19-related fatalities, the report added 394 victims to the official toll. This is the lowest figure to be reported on a Monday, which includes deaths over the weekend, since November 2, when 379 victims were recorded. The cumulative death toll over the last seven days also fell to 1,577, the lowest figure since the counting methodology changed on November 2. The total death toll since the beginning of the pandemic now stands at 46,646. This figure, however, only includes victims who tested positive for the virus before their death.
According to data from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) analyzed by EL PAÍS, the second wave of the pandemic has now killed more people in the European Union than the first – 152,216 Covid-19 deaths were recorded between August 1 and December 6, compared to 136,176, between March 1 and July 31.
English version by Melissa Kitson.