Spain sees rise in Covid-19 cases ahead of Easter

Covid health workers
CESAR MANSO / AFP
The data from Spain's Health Ministry has been showing a steady increase in coronavirus cases since mid-March, however Health Emergency Chief Fernando Simón has said that infections could be contained as a “small wave”.

The 14-day cumulative number of cases per 100,000 inhabitants now stands at 149, according to the Health Ministry’s latest report, as 12 of Spain’s autonomous regions currently have a rise in infections. 

“At a national level we are in a phase of expansion”, Health Emergency Chief Fernando Simón told a news conference, saying that the uptick would likely continue in the coming days.

“We are in a situation of inflection. We could maintain the trend or reverse it. It’s in everyone’s hands,” he said about the critical time over the Easter period.

“We could have an epidemiological wave, but it might be much smaller than the previous ones. Each week that passes and we vaccinate more people, it’s time we gain,” he continued.

Madrid and Navarra currently have the greatest number of infections per 100,000 inhabitants and both now exceed the threshold for extreme risk. Madrid has a cumulative incidence rate of 255 cases, while Navarra has 266. 

Most of Spain’s autonomous regions have a rise in infections over the past two weeks, however, Valencia and Murcia both have incidence rates of less than 100 and have seen a decline in cases. The Balearic Islands and Extremadura both also have a cumulative incidence rate of less than 100. 

In the last seven days, Madrid has reported the most cases with 17,951, followed by Catalonia with 15,534 and Andalusia with 11,830. 

Though restrictions in many regions have been relaxed slightly over the past month, and most bars and restaurants remain open for at least part of the day, many rules remain in place over the Easter holidays and all regions on the mainland have closed their borders. 

“If we manage to follow the Easter restrictions, we may not be talking about a fourth wave,” Simón concluded.

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