Sunday. 24.09.2023

Spanish government officials will meet for a crisis session on Wednesday to assess rapidly rising coronavirus case counts in the country, according to Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.

The leaders of the various Spanish regions will join the videoconference to discuss measures that can be taken against the pandemic now that the Omicron variant is circulating heavy in Spain, Sanchez said on Sunday.

Experts expect Omicron will soon be the dominant version of the virus.

Sanchez says the danger to Spain's population is "real," even though 90% of the population aged 12 and older is vaccinated. He said the country is experiencing its sixth coronavirus wave and has seen case counts rapidly increase to 320 infected people per 100,000 residents in the past seven days.

"We can't accept these incidence rates. We have to try harder," he said.

Lockdown ruled out

However, few are expecting drastic measures like a lockdown since hospital capacity is not as strained as it was a year ago. At the moment, there are about 1,300 patients in Spain's intensive stations, taking up about 14% of capacity.

Most of Spain is working under rules that limits access to public spaces to those who have been vaccinated against or recovered from the coronavirus or can provide proof of a recent negative test.

Only the Canary Islands have had to implement rules regulating crowd sizes.

Spain to hold Covid crisis meeting on Wednesday as cases surge