Almost two months after the peak of the fourth wave (the least serious that Spain has experienced), infections continue to decline. And, for the first time since the beginning of August last year, the incidence is below 100 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in 14 days. These are good figures, especially if the recovery in mobility is taken into account: this week there has been the highest number of visits to places of leisure since the pandemic began. According to the data collected by Google, trips to bars, restaurants, shopping centers and cinemas, among others, are only 14% lower than in February 2020. It is an even higher figure than that registered in July and August of the last summer, a few months in which there were hardly any restrictions on movement.
The descent of the curve is generalized in the territory, with Andalusia as the main exception –9 of the 10 large cities with the most cases are Andalusian–. Contagions fall in three out of four provinces and increase in five of them –Códoba, Valencia, Teruel, Cáceres and Zamora–, half that of last week. In addition, of the latter, only Córdoba and Santa Cruz de Tenerife register an incidence above 100 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in 14 days. Andalusia and La Rioja concentrate the foci with the most infections and are now the only communities with incidents of more than 150 cases.
The improvement in the indicators is also noticeable in hospitals. There is no province with more than 7% of the beds occupied by patients with coronavirus and four out of every five had the lowest occupancy figure since last summer in June.
To see the situation of the pandemic in Spain in more detail, the map above shows the main variables. First, the percentage of beds occupied by coronavirus patients. Also the data on the incidence of cases per inhabitant in the last two weeks and the trend of infections per inhabitant in each province, that is, if the cases are increasing 📈 or decreasing 📉. Finally, the total confirmed deaths in each province since the start of the pandemic are shown.
These data are published by the ISCIII (Instituto de Salud Carlos III) through the National Epidemiological Surveillance Network (RENAVE) and it does so by date of diagnosis or, in its absence, the date of onset of symptoms or declaration. Keep in mind that the data for the last week may be slightly underestimated due to delays in notifications from the autonomous communities.
The data indicate that in the last two weeks, cases have been increasing 🟦 in 5 provinces (in 2 of them at high speed 🟦🟦), in another 8 they remain stable ⬜ or in a plateau phase, and in the remaining 39 they are decreasing 🟩 (in 24 they are going down very fast 🟩🟩). We show the curves of new daily cases in each province grouped according to their situation: from more alarming ⚠️ to more positive ✅. How many provinces have many cases per inhabitant and are they continuing to rise? Which ones have flattened the contagion curve? And in which cases are there few but the virus is spreading very fast? To avoid detection peaks on a specific day, the average of both figures including the last seven days has also been calculated.
👉 It is important to bear in mind that the current infection figures are not comparable with the curve recorded at the beginning of the pandemic. The number of tests carried out now compared to those that were carried out in March has nothing to do with it, and neither does the strategy. Eight months ago, only the cases of those people who came to hospitals in the most serious condition were detected, that is, “the tip of the iceberg.” Now mild cases are tested and a percentage of asymptomatic or presymptomatic is detected, thanks to contact tracing. Hence, the incidence record in January cannot be compared to the peak incidence reached in the first wave, but it can be compared to that of the second.
Since the pandemic began, the evolution of the stages of the disease has followed the same pattern: the rise in infections is noted first in hospitals, then in ICU admissions and, finally, in the death toll. And vice versa: the last indicator where the fall in infections is noted is deaths. But during the fourth wave, this sequence was cut off. Deaths barely rose after the increase in infections.
The drop in mortality since the end of March overlaps with the advance of vaccination. The more elderly population vaccinated, the more deaths are falling throughout the country. The communities have only reported 151 new deaths in the last 7 days, less than half of last week, figures that had not been seen since mid-August. At the territorial level, the drop in mortality is especially noticeable in a score of provinces that register less than one death with COVID-19 per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 30 days. Among them are the three Valencian provinces and the two Extremadura, but also Murcia, the Balearic Islands or three of the four Galician provinces.
It must be taken into account that the communities notify their deceased with a long delay compared to confirmed cases, as explained by elDiario.es. Therefore, the data of the last weeks could be underestimated.
To have more information on each province, the following tab provides data on the most recent infections, deaths and hospitalizations in each of them as well as the trend of these indicators in recent weeks. The hospitalizations and ICU figures only include cases that have tested positive and have been notified to the Epidemiological Surveillance Network.
In general, Spain continues to bend the curve of the coronavirus and transmission has not skyrocketed in the first spikes that were registered after the end of the state of alarm. The main foci are in Andalusia –except Almería– and the single-province community of La Rioja. Only seven provinces remain at high risk of contagion, above 150 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in 14 days. The most worrying case is that of Córdoba, where infections have increased by 40% compared to two weeks ago.
At the opposite extreme, there are 13 provinces that are below 50 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in 14 days and, in addition, in most of them the cases are decreasing very quickly. Salamanca currently registers the best data: with an incidence of 29 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants in two weeks (half of those it had last week), it is very close to the threshold that the ‘traffic light’ of Health consider ‘new normal’. Pontevedra, Castellón or Albacete, among other provinces, are moving towards the same situation.
The following table allows ordering the provinces according to different criteria: the number of cases and the incidence per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days. The hospital occupancy levels and accumulated deaths in the last 30 days per 100,000 inhabitants are also shown.
The general decline in infections leads to a large part of the territory at levels of incidence that had not been seen since last summer. Specifically, 8 provinces have registered a minimum AI since July, and another 22 provinces, since August. The good trend and the good epidemiological data, together with the advance in the rate of vaccination, will make June 26 the date of the end of the mandatory use of masks in outdoor spaces, as announced by the President of the Government this Friday.
The following graph compares the curves of incidence in 14 days and daily deaths by diagnosis date of the 52 Spanish provinces. The figures are adjusted to the population of each one of them.