According to the ministry’s latest report, released last week, the national incidence rate in Spain now stands at 251.61. This is less than half of what it was a month ago, when it reached 521 on 2nd November. Just days later, on 9th November, Spain recorded its highest incidence rate since the beginning of the pandemic: 529 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.
With the exception of Castilla y León, La Rioja and the North African exclave city of Melilla, all of Spain’s regions now have an incidence rate below 400. What’s more, this number is falling across all regions in the Spanish mainland. Only the Canary Islands, the region with the best epidemiological situation in Spain, recorded a slight rise, with the 14-day cumulative number of cases per 100,000 inhabitants now at 80. In the Balearic Islands, the figure has remained stable at 80 cases.
The incidence rate is the most accurate indicator to measure the evolution of the pandemic – since it is a cumulative figure taken over several days it fluctuates less than the number of new daily cases, providing a more stable picture of the situation. But there was also good news with respect to new diagnoses. According to the latest report, the Health Ministry recorded 9,331 cases last Wednesday, the second-lowest number since 13th October, confirming that new infections have fallen below 10,000.
The number of Covid-19-related deaths continues to fluctuate. Last Wednesday, the Health Ministry added 273 fatalities to the official toll, a significant fall from Tuesday, when 442 victims were recorded. Tuesday’s figure was one of the highest recorded in Spain’s second wave, while the number reported on Wednesday was the lowest in nearly two weeks.
The southern region of Andalusia recorded the highest number of Covid-19-related deaths (85), followed by Catalonia (64) and Castilla-La Mancha and Valencia, which both reported 24. The official death toll since the beginning of the pandemic now stands at 45,784, although the real figure is likely to be much higher given that thousands of people died without being diagnosed during the first wave, meaning they were not included in the official count.
Pressure on hospitals and intensive care units (ICUs) also continues to ease. According to the latest report, coronavirus patients now occupy 25.66 percent of ICU beds, down from 26.3 percent on Tuesday. The occupation rate of hospital beds also fell, dropping from 11.52 percent on Tuesday to 10.96percent. In principle, this positive trend should lead to a progressive fall in the number of deaths. The lower the pressure on ICUs, the lower the number of seriously ill patients, which makes deaths from Covid-19 less likely. The positivity rate, i.e. the percentage of tests that come back positive out of the total, also fell to 8.67 percent.