Why is Spain facing a resurgence of Covid-19 cases?

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Why is Spain facing a resurgence of Covid-19 cases?

This is what everyone is wondering… While the Iberian Peninsula had the most rigorous quarantine in the world, even outdoor sports and walks were not allowed, and their preventive measures are still one of the most severe since getting back to “new normal” (some even say they curb freedom), the country is facing a resurgence of positive cases.

Madrid’s regional authorities had to recommend the inhabitants of the most afflicted areas to put themselves into quarantine; other cities have taken similar measures with different restrictions and Pedro Sanchez, the Spanish Prime minister, just announced that the army was going to be recruited to help track the potential positive cases. Also, all 17 Spanish regions are now able to declare a state of emergency if necessary. This announcement occurs a few days before the start of the school year, of when, which, how, are more confused than ever.

Sanidad reports that almost 3 000 new positive cases have been detected during the last 24 hours, and this total can reach 4 000 depending on the day. 

The total number of deaths since the beginning of the epidemic is more or less 28 924, 166 in the past week, and 87 people have ended up in intensive care over this same period. 

So, the MEP José Ramón Bauzá, member of Ciudadanos, officially asked the European Commission to investigate about the factors of the “unusual” infection rate in Spain. 

“If wearing a mask is mandatory, if social distancing measures are maintained, if capacity restrictions are ensured indoors and outdoors, and if nightlife is limited, why are contagions increasing so drastically?” he asks. Maybe we are talking about a casedemic and not an epidemic?

The tourist flow, reliability of testing, and the counting homogeneity

It is hard to explain for sure why Spain gets such bad results but it clearly appears that the tourist flow of June, July and August has had negative consequences on the country. Indeed, Spain has welcomed a lot of visitors coming from countries that are also very affected by the pandemic (ex: United Kingdom).

Another reason that is often cited is the fact that clubs and nightlife-related places remained open during most of the summer (restrictions and closings have been decided quite recently) unlike France or Italy where the reopening has never been allowed. 

Also, the question of the number of tests and, above all, their reliability comes up: the number of positive cases is only relevant if compared to the total number of tests carried out in all, and there are real doubts about the uniformity between the different countries’ counting methods. Furthermore, some tests are not totally reliable: that is why a person can be diagnosed positive one day, then negative the day after and be retested positive three weeks later. 

Spain’s sanitary situation is kept under high surveillance but the large majority of positive cases are asymptomatic and the number of hospitalisations and deaths seem to be controlled, as the hospitals occupancy rate remains under 5 %. 

Spain knows that they cannot afford anymore touristic, economic, social and political damage so they are doing their best to avoid a second wave. 

Laurence Lemoine

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