Coronavirus incidence up four points, with Spain at ‘medium risk’ level and pressure on hospitals rising slightly

What’s thought to be the biggest school outbreak so far has been detected in the Madrid city of Getafe, with 56 confirmed infections and nearly 200 students in quarantine

The Ana María Matute school in Getafe, where a coronavirus outbreak has been detected.
The Ana María Matute school in Getafe, where a coronavirus outbreak has been detected.COMUNIDAD DE MADRID

The incidence of the coronavirus is on an upward trend in Spain. According to the latest Health Ministry report on the pandemic, which was released on Wednesday evening, the 14-day cumulative number of coronavirus cases per 100,000 inhabitants currently stands at 62.7, a rise of four points from the previous figure, which was published on Monday (no report was issued on Tuesday due to a holiday in Madrid). This means that Spain is currently at the “medium risk” level. The cumulative incidence dropped below the 50-mark, considered “low risk,” on October 10, and stayed there until November 4 when it rose above 50 once more.

According to the official data, 6,461 new infections were detected and 59 Covid-19 deaths were added to the overall toll. In total, 5,038,517 official infections have been registered in Spain since the health crisis began, with 87,617 victims.

The pressure on the country’s hospitals is also rising slightly, according to the latest figures. There are currently 1,903 patients being treated for Covid-19, an increase of 45 compared to Monday. The number of patients in intensive care units (ICUs) is also creeping up, from 400 on Monday to 403 on Wednesday.

The incidence has risen in all of the country’s regions, except the Balearic Islands, where it fell two points to 93 cases per 100,000 inhabitants from Monday to Wednesday, and Castilla-La Mancha, which saw a fall of half a point to 42.5 cases. There were also falls in the North African exclave cities of Ceuta and Melilla.

In terms of the ongoing vaccination campaign, a total of 2,004,741 people in Spain have now received a booster shot against Covid-19. These doses are currently being offered to people considered high risk, the over-70s and the residents of care homes.

A total of 37,417,377 people have been fully inoculated against Covid-19 in Spain, which is 89% of the target population (i.e. the over-12s). Meanwhile, 38,117,778 people have been given one shot, which is 90.5% of the target population.

Health Minister Carolina Darias during a press conference earlier this week.
Health Minister Carolina Darias during a press conference earlier this week.Ballesteros (EFE)

Speaking on Wednesday after a meeting of the Inter-Territorial Council of the National Health System (CISNS), which brings together the central Health Ministry and the regions, Health Minister Carolina Darias pointed to the fact that a high percentage of coronavirus patients being treated in hospitals are not vaccinated.

“It’s a recurrent pattern,” she said from the northern city of Oviedo. “The experts reiterate that many of those hospitalized are not vaccinated. Vaccines against Covid mean saving lives. We know this well. We know the importance of vaccination. This pattern repeats itself and this recognizes the importance of going to get vaccinated.”

Darias added that, for now, there are no plans to alter the current restrictions and recommendations, such as the use of masks, social distancing and ventilation.

Getafe outbreak

An outbreak of the coronavirus has been detected at an elementary school in Getafe, a city located in the south of the Madrid region. So far, 56 positive cases have been confirmed, mostly among students. A total of 178 more students were quarantined at home yesterday.

The outbreak took place at the Ana María Matute de Getafe school, and health authorities believe that it originated during Halloween celebrations several weekends ago.

Parents and unions are claiming that the outbreak is actually worse than officials are admitting, and have been complaining about the time it took to attend to those involved. According to the regional healthcare authority, this could be the biggest outbreak seen in a school so far.

Meanwhile, at the Pureza Santa María de Sant Cugat del Vallès school in Barcelona, 347 people – mostly children – have been confined after 38 students and three teachers tested positive for the virus.

Deaths in 2020

Spain registered a total of 493,776 deaths during 2020, of which Covid-19 was the cause of death in 60,358 cases, as well as a further 14,481 where the virus was suspected to have been the cause. That’s according to figures from Spain’s National Statistics Institute (INE), which also reports that mortality was up by 17.9% last year compared to 2019, with 75,000 extra fatalities.

Despite the impact of the virus, the main cause of death in 2020 was once again diseases related to the circulatory system (nearly 120,000), followed by tumors (113,000).

The biggest rise in deaths broken down by age was among the 70-79 group. Compared to 2019, these were up by 20.5%, followed by those over 80, which went up 19.5% and then the 60-69 group, which rose 14.5%.

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