Coronavirus cases in Spain continue to fall, with incidence rate at lowest point in a month

Hospital occupation by Covid patients has also been falling for the last week, albeit at a slower rhythm than new infections

A health worker vaccinates a patient in Badajoz.
A health worker vaccinates a patient in Badajoz.JAVIER PULPO (Europa Press)

New coronavirus infections continue to fall sharply in Spain, and the Health Ministry is predicting that this trend will continue in the coming days. The latest report from the government on the pandemic, presented last night by Fernando Simón, the director of the Health Ministry’s Coordination Center for Health Alerts (CCAES), recorded 30,251 cases, 16,844 fewer than a week before. The data released on Monday accounts for the entire weekend – i.e. Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The 14-day cumulative number of coronavirus cases per 100,000 inhabitants is now at 417, a level that has not been seen for more than a month, which is when it started to shoot up due to the increased social activity over the Christmas holiday season. Hospital occupation by coronavirus patients has also been falling for the last week, albeit at a slower rhythm than new infections.

The Health Ministry recorded 30,251 new coronavirus cases on Monday, 16,844 fewer than a week before

The average daily number of infections over the past week is 9,802 according to the latest report, which is nearly three times lower than the peak of this ongoing third wave of the pandemic in Spain, and ever closer to the lowest point of the second wave, when the data point came in at around 6,000 to 8,000. Simón said on Monday that the figures reflected an “adequate trend,” stressing that the levels in nearly all of Spain continue to be “extreme.” The government’s chief epidemiologist warned that great care will have to be taken when lifting restrictions in order to avoid a fourth wave “that no one wants.” Occupation of intensive care unit (ICU) beds by coronavirus patients continues to be very high, at 38% – well above the worst moments of the second wave.

Simón also pointed to the positive data from care homes, which began to be seen around two weeks ago. During the entire epidemic, cases among over-65s were worse in senior residences than they were outside of them. But since the vaccination campaign got going in late December, focusing primarily on these residents during phase 1, new infections have been falling fast among this group.

The number of Covid-19 deaths also appears to be on a downward trend, but this statistic is the last to reflect an improvement in the overall epidemiological data and it is still too early to tell whether this is a clear trend. The Health Ministry added 702 victims to the overall death toll on Monday. This was 207 fewer than a week ago, which was likely the peak of fatalities in this third wave.

English version by Simon Hunter.

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