SPAIN’S Health Minister, Carolina Darias, has told parliamentarians in Madrid that she is concerned about a ‘possible change in trend’ in new COVID-19 cases.
Her fears were expressed after figures yesterday(March 24) showed an upturn in infection rates in large parts of the country.
Some experts believe that yesterday’s increase may have been partially fuelled by the late reporting of cases due to the San Jose weekend holiday, but Darias believes there are also early signs of a new worrying trend.
“There have been some clear upswings in some regions, and in at least ten areas, the seven-day cumulative incidence figures exceed 50% of the 14-day cumulative period. That suggests an upward trend and that transmission is increasing,” said Darias
“The figures are beginning to be worrying and if they start to continue in that direction, much steeper increases in infection rates may occur.”
There are major variations in current infection rates with the Valencian Community averaging under 30 cases per 100,000 people while at the other end of the spectrum, the Madrid region comes in at over 200 cases.
The minister’s concerns are also linked to Semana Santa(Holy Week) next week and Easter where families and friends will normally try to meet up, therefore leading to a repeat of the problems caused over the Christmas and New Year period.
Carolina Darias said: “It’s vital to reiterate our message for people to be prudent and to follow the mobility and social contact rules.”
“I know that everybody is tired of what they’ve had to go through but it is essential to follow the rules to avoid a fourth wave of the infection as we the process of vaccination continues.”
Darias said that over 50% of new COVID cases were down to the British-Kent strain with the figure closer to between 70 to 80% in some regions of Spain.
She added that 8.4 million vaccines had been distributed since the inoculation programme started at the end of December