A fifth wave of infections due to Covid-19 and its Delta variant is already a reality in most of Spain. It is no longer just about one-off outbreaks caused by partying youths and their botellón drinking gatherings.
According to the figures from the national Ministry of Health on Thursday (15 July), the number of new coronavirus infections, in the last 24-hour period, had risen to 27,688. That is 10,000 more than those counted on the same day last week.
The country’s cumulative incidence rate for coronavirus stands at 500.75, compared to 469.50 on Wednesday. Just a few weeks ago, virtually all the regions appeared to have things under control, with rates below 100.
In the last day, 41 more coronavirus deaths were registered nationally - compared to the 28 of last Thursday.
Some of the current figures have not been seen since February, during the third wave of the pandemic.
To try and control the situation the Valencia region has received the endorsement of its Supreme Court to impose a new curfew that prevents uncontrolled parties of young people. Catalonia and Cantabria have also requested similar measures, although the decision of the courts has yet to be confirmed.
The great enemy of the epidemiological situation is the Delta variant. It already accounts for about 60 per cent of the coronavirus cases in Spain, and it is increasing, according to experts.
For now, vaccines remain the best tool to beat the virus. But the worry is that the Delta variant, or others in the future, could evolve to bypass the defence provided by inoculation.