Spain: New COVID-19 infections double from last week
- 12 January 2021
Spain saw a huge jump in coronavirus infections and hospitalizations over the weekend, with the Health Ministry reporting 61,422 new cases on Monday, APA reports quoting Anadolu Agency.
The surge in cases includes data from Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. It more than doubles the number of cases reported last Monday, when the update included four days’ worth of data due to a long weekend.
“The next weeks will be complicated,” Fernando Simon, Spain’s chief epidemiologist, told a press conference Monday but insisted the current situation is far from what was experienced during the first wave of the pandemic.
Simon said that around 70 cases of the UK variant of the virus have been found in Spain so far, but denied that is what is driving the rise in infections.
“This has nothing to do with the new variant, it has to do with having more fun over the holidays than we should have,” he explained.
Spain was one of the few European countries to relax social and travel measures over the holiday season, which in Spain lasts from Dec. 24 to Jan. 6.
Hospitalizations also surged over the weekend, bringing the total number of active COVID-19 patients to 16,792. The situation in intensive care units is becoming critical, with 26% of all available ICU beds across the country being used by COVID-19 patients.
In Valencia and the Balearic Islands, around 40% of ICUs are now dedicated to treating COVID-19.
The Balearic Islands on Monday announced new measures to control the virus. From Wednesday, meetings between people not living together in Mallorca and Ibiza will be forbidden, and bars, restaurants, and shopping centers will have to limit their hours and capacity.
Likewise, Valencia, Asturias, the Basque Country, Andalusia, Murcia and Castile, and Leon all announced stricter measures on Monday.
Meanwhile, despite parts of the country recovering from a record snowfall this weekend, a new shipment of around 350,000 vaccines was received across the country.
Simon said that just over 381,000 people have received the injection in Spain so far.
On Monday, the Health Ministry confirmed another 401 deaths, bringing Spain’s official death toll to 52,275.