Health

Weekend spike edges Spain’s overall caseload closer to 1 million

Madrid, Oct 19 (efe-epa).- Spain on Monday edged closer to registering one million cases since the Covid-19 pandemic began, as health authorities logged 37,889 new infections over the weekend.

It was the highest jump in figures over a weekend since the second wave of the pandemic took hold in Spain.

The sharp rise in cases brings the country’s official caseload to 974,449, meaning it could surpass the grisly milestone of one million this week. At least 33,775 have died from Covid-19, according to the government’s records, some 217 since Friday.

Fernando Simón, the head of Spain’s emergency public health response to Covid-19, said during a press conference that the 14-day cumulative incidence rate in Spain had risen from 280 per 100,000 on Friday to 312 per 100,000 on Monday.

“There has not been a drop in cases. In recent days there has been a bigger increase than expected.

“We can’t be sure, looking at other countries, that it is set to go down.”

With figures rising across Spain, regional authorities have been tightening restrictions in municipalities where the incidence rate climbs above 500 per 100,000, in accordance with central government guidelines.

Municipal authorities in Burgos, in Castile and Leon, sealed off the municipality on Monday, meaning residents cannot leave the city limits save for essential trips. Other cities in the region, including Salamanca, León and Palencia are also facing those restrictions.

More than five million Spaniards currently face limits on movement and travel out of their cities, the vast majority in the capital, Madrid, and a number of its suburbs.

Authorities in the northeastern region of Catalonia, where cases have also been rising, have not approved restrictions on freedom of movement but instead ordered bars to close down for 15 days.

In the affected areas, social gatherings are capped at a maximum of six people and hostelry establishments must close at 11pm.

Despite this, local police in Málaga, southern Spain, said they had broken up an illegal party of over 150 people.

Police said the attendees, neither the DJ nor the employees working at the establishment, which was equipped with a dance floor, were wearing masks and that attendees were gathered in groups of more than 10 people.EFE/EPA

jt

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