Spain breaks record for new coronavirus cases, reporting 179,125 infections in one day

The central Health Ministry added 125 deaths to the official toll on Wednesday, while the incidence rate jumped 86 points to 3,128 contagions per 100,000 inhabitants

Covid Spain
A pharmacy in Barcelona with a sign reading: “We have antigen tests.”Lorena Sopêna (Europa Press)

Spain broke its record for the highest number of coronavirus infections on Wednesday, with 179,125 new cases registered in the daily Health Ministry report on the pandemic. An additional 125 Covid-19 fatalities were added to the overall death toll. The 14-day cumulative incidence, meanwhile, rose a further 86 points to 3,128 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. According to the report, 7,771,367 infections have been officially recorded by the country’s health authorities, while 90,508 people have died after testing positive for the virus.

This sixth wave of the health crisis in Spain has been setting records for weeks now. The nearly 180,000 new infections registered in Wednesday’s report have brought the total near to 8,000,000 – although the real figure will be much higher given that many people will have been infected without being reflected in the official statistics. Just two weeks ago, the headlines were stating that for the first time there were more than 100,000 cases registered in a day – now that figure is nearly double.

The cumulative incidence has never been so high, and rose 86 points yesterday from the day before. This is a large jump, but it is, however, far from the increases seen last week, when there was a rise of 148 points in a day, or the week before, when it rose 267 points in just 24 hours.

Broken down by region, Navarre and the Basque Country continue to top the list in terms of the 14-day incidence, with 7,156 and 6,613 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, respectively. For the 20-29 age group in these territories, the indicator is currently above 9,000 cases, meaning that nearly one in every 10 people has tested positive over the last two weeks. Currently, the following regions are below the average incidence in Spain: Balearic Islands (2,696), Valencia (2,678), Canary Islands (2,633), Madrid (2,529) and Andalusia (1,527).

The indicator that brings slightly better news in yesterday’s report is the seven-day cumulative incidence. This is a more accurate thermometer of the current situation, given that it reflects more recent infections. On Wednesday, the data point was at 1,478 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, just 16 points up from the day before. Two weeks ago, it grew 170 points in a single day. Another positive point is that the weekly incidence is less than half the 14-day figure, suggesting that the rise in the incidence is starting to ease.

Pressure on Spain’s hospitals continues to increase, according to the report, with 473 new admissions in the last 24 hours. There are more than 17,000 Covid-19 patients currently receiving treatment, while 2,228 people are currently in intensive care units (ICUs) – that represents 28% of available beds, above the “very high risk” level of 25%.

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