There is little doubt at this stage that the European Union is experiencing the start of a second wave of the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic. And while cases of the virus are surging across the continent, Spain is emerging as the very reluctant leader of the pack.
The New York Times has reported that Spain recorded more than 53,000 new cases in the past week, with 114 new infections per 100,000 people. These chilling figures indicate that the virus is currently spreading faster in Spain than in the U.S., about eight times faster than in Italy and Britain, and 10 times faster than in Germany, says The New York Times.
Meanwhile, Spanish El Pais reports that the Spanish Health Ministry has recorded 83 new fatalities linked to COVID-19, bringing the official death toll since the crisis began to 29,094. More than half of the most recent victims came from the Madrid region, the area of Spain currently being hit the hardest by the new outbreak. And although the mortality rate is significantly lower than it was back in March and April, El Pais confirms that it has doubled in less than two weeks, going from 0.4 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants to 0.8.
However, there are some glimpses of light in all the doom and gloom. Although the rate of infection is rising nationally, numbers from Catalonia and Aragón—the two regions in northern Spain that suffered the most dramatic spike of new cases in July—have begun to stabilize.
In a press conference on Monday evening, Fernando Simón, director of the Health Ministry’s Coordination Center for Health Alerts and Emergencies (CCAES), also confirmed that Spain has doubled its diagnostic capacity since July.
“The rise is bigger than we would have liked, but it’s to be expected. We are detecting nearly as many cases as we did at the peak of March and April but things are completely different to how they were then,” said Simón, according to El Pais. “But we cannot sleep easy, at least not us,” he added. “The population shouldn’t be distressed but they should be concerned.”
Having already been one of the hardest-hit countries when COVID-19 arrived in Europe in spring, Spain is reeling from the impact of the latest coronavirus outbreak—and the speed with which it has escalated. Nowhere is this felt as acutely as in Spain’s tourism industry.
Today, the Spanish national statistics authority reported just 2.5 million international tourists visited Spain in July, representing a whopping 75% drop from the same month last year when it received almost 10 million visitors. This does not bode well for a country that relies heavily on…
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