SPAIN and the United States are currently the two countries where COVID-19 is spreading most rapidly, according to a study by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (UK).

The study, based on mathematical models to determine the evolution of the epidemic in the 24 most affected countries, indicates that the measures applied in Spain in the last two weeks have not managed to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

In fact, after a hesitant initial reaction to the situation, Spain has now become the latest epicentre of COVID-19.

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COVID-19: In Spain each patient infects on average three other people, one of the highest rates in the world

The government declared a state of emergency on Friday, days after it allowed mass gatherings in the capital and cases have jumped to 5.753.

According to the UK study published by the Centre for Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Diseases, the evolution of an epidemic depends on the so-called reproductive number R, which indicates how many people are infected by each person who contracts an infection.

If R is around three, as it is now in Spain, it means that each patient infects on average three other people.

The measures adopted to contain an epidemic, such as those announced yesterday for Spain as a whole, are aimed at reducing the R number.

The ultimate goal is to get the R number below one, which means that each patient infects less than one person.

The results, which are updated daily on the website of the Center for Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Diseases, indicate that the R for Spain yesterday was between 1.9 and 5.6, giving an average of just over 3.

According to the study the United States, with an estimated R between 1.9 and 5.9, is similar to Spain.

The stagnation in Spain contrasts with the improvement in Italy, which, according to reports, has halved the rate of infection.

Latest up-date of cases in Spain: More than 5.753 infected and 134 dead.

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