SPAIN has registered its blackest day of the third coronavirus wave after counting 591 deaths in the past 24 hours.

According to outgoing health minister Salvador Illa, there were 36,435 new cases detected over the same period while the 14-day incidence rate increased to 893 cases per 100,000 people.

The health ministry also warned today that the more contagious British variant was behind at least 267 cases.

Some regions are seeing the variant in ‘significant’ numbers, with Andalucia registering 77 cases today.

There has also been much secondary transmission, meaning it is spreading among the population and not just directly from those who have arrived from the UK.

The Spanish Government has also confirmed the existence of the South African variant in the update of the document Circulation of VOC 202012/01 (B.1.1.7) and other variants of SARS-CoV-2 of interest to public health in Spain.

Traces of the British variant have now been detected in a sample of wastewater taken from Granada on December 17, El Mundo reported.

Light at the end of the tunnel

In his last public address before standing down to run in the Catlaunya elections, Salvador Illa said the current situation in Spain is worrying and that ‘there’s no need to sugar coat it.’

However he said the cumulative incidence rate from the past seven days is positive and that several regions are beginning the flatten the curve of the virus.

“Seven autonomous communities which previously took measures are already flattening the curve with the instruments they have at their disposal within the framework of the state of alarm,” he said.

Andalucia, the most populous region, saw its incidence rate fall for the first time in weeks today, although it was by a marginal 1.5 points.

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