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Spain's top Covid expert warns incidence rate could reach 400 'in days'

Mass screening of young people in Galicia.
Mass screening of young people in Galicia. / EUROPA PRESS
  • The national rate stands at 368 cases per 100,000 inhabitants but, so far, these infections are not directly translating into pressure on the hospitals or a significant increase in deaths

The number of coronavirus infections continues to rise in Spain - especially among the youngest, unvaccinated age groups although, fortunately for now, its real impact is nothing like that of previous waves.

On Monday, 12 July, the country’s cumulated incidence rate stood at 368 infections per 100,000 inhabitants but it is expected that it will soon exceed 400.

For now, these infections are not directly translating into a collapse of the hospital system or a significant increase in deaths, since young people have the disease with less virulence and there is already a large sector of the older population vaccinated.

But the big question is whether this trend is going to continue like this.

The director of Spain’s Centre for the Coordination of Health Alerts and Emergencies (CCAES), Fernando Simón, has predicted that the incidence of Covid-19 cases at 14 days per 100,000 inhabitants will exceed 400 "in a couple of days", although he also believes that Spain could soon be entering a "progressive stabilisation phase" as infections are increasing at a slower rate.

The problem continues to be the unvaccinated, according to Simón, with an incidence rate "up to 20 times more than the vaccinated." Will these cases end up in hospitals?

Simón warns that the increase in infections "is gradually being noticed in the levels of hospital occupancy." He insistED that, for now, it is very likely that they will not reach the levels of previous waves, "but there may be a significant impact and therefore there may be some units with excessive pressure again."

The Ministry of Health expert added that the increase in infections is already having an impact on the healthcare system, even if there are not more people in hospital. "The primary care and public health services, are those that are currently experiencing this pressure in the face of this number of cases of infections among young people, as they are responsible for contact tracing.”