ANDALUCIA has the third-lowest testing rate out of Spain’s 17 regions, figures have revealed. 

According to the Health Ministry, the latest statistics show the most populous region performs on average 976 tests per 100,000 inhabitants per week.

Only Murcia and Aragon carry out fewer, with respective rates of 932 and 945 tests per 100,000 people.

The Balearic Islands and Catalunya, by comparison, are testing more than 3,000 people per 100,000 each week. 

Both regions are currently registering much higher incidence rates of the virus and have been forced to implement tougher restrictions. 

Andalucia had stepped up testing, particularly antigen tests, but suffered a setback over the Christmas period, much like the rest of the country. 

It performed 15,000 fewer tests between December 21 and 27, compared the week before. 

Spain as a whole went from performing 2,057 tests per 100,000 inhabitants between December 14 and 21, to 1,793 a week later. 

Since the end of the first state of alarm, the country has tripled its testing numbers, but some regions are performing far more than others.

Positivity rate of tests suggests Spain is ‘out of control’

Meanwhile the latest data, from December 21 to 27, showed 9.2% of tests coming back as positive. 

In other words, almost 10 out of every 100 tests are yielding a positive result. 

This should be raising alarm bells, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), which said a 5% positivity rate should signal when transmission is ‘out of control.’ 

In Andalucia, the positivity rate of tests performed is 8.22% which, while better than the national average, is well above the 5% WHO threshold. 

In Valencia the figure is higher than 18% and in Extremadura it is above 15%. 

The Health Ministry has said asymptomatic carriers remain the most lethal in terms of transmission. 

Mass testing is therefore crucial to identify such patients to prevent them spreading the disease to more vulnerable parts of the population. 

Surge in Andalucia

Despite testing less than most of Spain, Andalucia has seen a surge in cases in recent days. 

Thursday saw the highest daily count since November 26, as more than 2,300 people tested positive for the disease. 

The Junta will announce tomorrow whether or not it will toughen restrictions from January 10 onwards.

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