Is the third wave of the pandemic approaching Spain? The seriousness on the faces of the participants in the Government press conference to report on its evolution says almost everything. Last week there were thirty-two percent more infections than the previous one and the cumulative incidence of the last fourteen days is 272 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. In Extremadura (604) it is more than double and in Castilla-La Mancha the increase in infections in the last week was greater than 100%.
“There is a growing trend in cases that translates into a growth in hospitalizations and occupancy of ICU beds and the consequent decision-making within the framework of our second wave strategy. Within the framework of actions that we took October … then the taking of corresponding measures “, explained the Minister of Health, Salvador Illa.
New confinement in Catalonia
The Spanish authorities fear that the relaxation of health security measures in several autonomous communities and the proliferation of crowds and illegal parties during Christmas and New Year’s Eve will translate into an explosion of cases in the coming days. Catalonia has ordered a perimeter confinement of all its municipalities starting next Thursday. The measure will be in force for 10 days in which shops of more than 400 square meters will also be closed.
Uneven pace of vaccinations
Meanwhile, the vaccination campaign is progressing slowly. As of Monday, almost 83,000 people had received their injection throughout the national territory, but great territorial inequalities are being registered. While Asturias has already used 81% of the available doses, its neighbor Cantabria barely exceeds 5%.
As regards the most populated, Madrid is the furthest behind with only 6%. Andalusia, with 37%, and Catalonia, with 14%, have 500 professionals dedicated to giving vaccines, while in Madrid there are less than a hundred. This disparity is expected to be corrected in the coming weeks.
The central government has already delivered another 360,000 doses to regional executives to be inoculated this week. Spain uses the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, the only one currently authorized by the European Union, which requires a second dose three weeks after the first. The pandemic has claimed 51,000 lives in Spain, and has infected about 2 million people.