The ‘Christmas effect’ and the ‘British strain’ are already manifested in all its scope in Health statistics. Spain, after setting a record 38,869 cases in one day on Wednesday, this Thursday, for the second day in a row, once again exceeded the 35,000-infected mark in just 24 hours. There were exactly 35,878 new infected. The mark of Wednesday was not exceeded but it was the second highest figure in the historical series of the pandemic. It is, in addition, a figure that represents an increase of 70% compared to Thursday of last week in which there were registered on average daily (it was two days of holidays) 21,180 new infected. Never before since the coronavirus reached Spain, except in the first days of the pandemic in March, cases had grown at a weekly rate at this rate.
Christmas, with its greater social mobility and the end to social interactions, has caused the number of infections to go from 1,842,289 people at the doors of the holidays on December 23 to 2,211,967 this Thursday. In exactly three weeks, with the holidays in between, the tables of the department directed by Salvador Illa collected 369,678 more cases. In just three weeks, the cases diagnosed in Spain have grown by 20% and that – they warn in Health – the effects of Christmas and the new variant arrival of the United Kingdom have not yet been noticed in all its magnitude.
And obviously these numbers of unbridled infections, which were certainly not seen in the second wave, caused, one more day, the accumulated incidence (AI) to skyrocket. This parameter stood at 522 cases on the national average for every 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days, more than double the 250 positives marked by Health and the WHO as “extreme risk.” In just 24 hours, the AI climbed 30 points, an almost unprecedented increase in the historical series, but which has become more and more common in recent days.
After the very strong increase in incidence in recent days, Spain has fallen back to levels that have not been seen since mid-November, when the country, after peaking with an AI of 529 on November 9, was already falling. The problem – Health experts explain – is that Spain this Thursday was only seven points from the maximum of the second wave and the historical series when it had just begun to suffer the rigors of the third volley.
And it is that in just 17 days the country as a whole has doubled its AI and nobody in the Center for the Coordination of Health Alerts and Emergencies (CCAES) led by Fernando Simón doubts that in a matter of hours Spain, still at the beginning of the ascent to a third wave whose length is still unknown, beat the absolute record of accumulated incidence that was reached at the peak of the second, when the transmission of the virus was already bridged.
The detailed analysis of the figures was equally pessimistic. Each and every one of the 19 territories (17 communities and 2 autonomous cities) worsened its incidence in the last 24 hours, except Castilla y Léon, a situation that has occurred very few times in this pandemic.
Only the Canary Islands, with 161 cases, are below the “extreme risk” bar of 250 positives per 100,000 inhabitants. This Thursday, over 500 cases (twice the highest of the rankings contemplated by the WHO) were only 9 of the 19 autonomous communities and cities: Andalusia, Aragón, Asturias, Canarias, Cantabria, Ceuta, Galicia, Navarra and Basque Country.
Fernando Simónse was sure today that behind this severe upturn in cases is the ‘Christmas effect’.
“Whether we like it or not, we are all aware that at Christmas people had a better time than they should have. We could already propose whatever it was that we knew this was going to happen. If once this period is over we are aware again that the measures must be implemented well, we will probably get better, “explained the head of CCAES.