Despite a vaccination rate of around 80%, Spain will end 2021 with one of the highest incidences of coronavirus in Europe. The numbers of new infections and the incidence of the disease recorded last day are historical highs.
The Spanish autonomous regions notified the Ministry of Health on Thursday 161,688 new infections of Covid-19. Of these, 74,487 cases were diagnosed in the last 24 hours. These figures raised the 14-day incidence of the disease to 1,775.77 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, compared to 1,558.39 the day before.
The 7-day incidence has also hit an all-time high: 1,086.09 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants, according to official figures.
In mid-October, Spain had still recorded a seven-day incidence rate of about 18.
The monitoring report of the epidemic published on Thursday adds 74 new deaths. Since the start of the pandemic, 89,405 people with a positive diagnostic test have died in Spain due to the virus, according to the Ministry of Health.
Meanwhile, the authorities claim that the situation in the hospitals is still largely under control, also thanks to the high vaccination rate, as the vaccine in most cases ensures infection without symptoms or a milder course of the disease.
Most recently, 8.81% of all hospital beds and 19.42% of all intensive care beds in Spain were occupied by Covid-19 patients. These figures are also climbing, but rather slowly.
Because of the rapidly increasing number of cases, Spain this week shortened the duration of isolation after infection without symptoms - and even with mild symptoms - from 10 to seven days. This also applies to suspected cases that have not been vaccinated.
The reduction had been demanded by several regional governments and entrepreneurs. The aim is to prevent disruptions to basic services such as hospitals and public transport if too many workers are forced into quarantine.
To contain the pandemic, outdoor masks have once again been made mandatory nationwide.