Autumn begins in Spain with infections decreasing rapidly in the country as a whole, with more than 75% of the population vaccinated with the two doses against COVID-19 and with fewer and fewer patients with coronavirus in hospitals. This Friday the incidence has fallen from the barrier of 70 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in 14 days, the lowest figure since August last year, and 19 provinces have registered their best figures since September 2020.
More than half of the provinces (33 out of 52) have reduced their incidence rate to more than half in the last two weeks, and there are only 10 territories that are above 100 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in 14 days. Another 13 provinces, on the other hand, are below the threshold of 50 cases. Very favorable data and trends that are leading to the disappearance of practically all restrictions.
Mortality figures, which in the last wave did not skyrocket as in other peaks of the pandemic thanks to the effect of vaccination, are also on the decline. In the last week the Ministry of Health has reported 446 deaths, 10% less than last week. There are 39 provinces that in the last month have registered less than five deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, in three of which this proportion is less than one.
To see the situation of the pandemic in Spain in more detail, the map above shows the main variables. First, the bed occupancy rate for COVID-19 patients in each province. Then, the general rate of cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last two weeks and the trend of infections 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. It must be taken into account that the data for the last week may be slightly underestimated due to the delays in notifications from the autonomous communities.
The data indicate that in the last two weeks the cases are not increasing 🟦 in any province, there is no province that is in the plateau phase ⬜, and they are decreasing 🟩 in the 52 provinces (in 51 of them at high speed 🟩 🟩 ). 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 after March, this sequence was cut. Deaths barely rose after the increase in infections. This pattern was repeated in the last wave.
The drop in deaths since the end of March overlaps with the advance in vaccination. The more elderly population vaccinated, the more the deceased have fallen throughout the country. Even so, there are 13 provinces that have registered more than five deaths with Covid-19 per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 30 days. In Cáceres there have been 18 and in Ávila, 13. It must be taken into account that the communities notify their deceased with a long delay with respect 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 provinces with the worst indicators
There are still a dozen provinces whose incidence still exceeds the threshold of 100 cases, although they register few cases in absolute numbers and the trend is downward. The autonomous cities of Melilla (176) and Ceuta (152) continue to lead the ranking, although they have already managed to drop from the 200 cases in which they were last week. Girona is followed by far, with 110 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in 14 days.
If we look at the hospitals, there are only two provinces left (Bizkaia and Ceuta) with more than 5% of the beds occupied by patients with Covid-19. In Bizkaia is where there is a greater hospital pressure, with an occupancy of 5.9%.
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 end of the fifth wave
A total of 19 provinces currently have the lowest incidence rates since September last year. This group is made up of: A Coruña, Araba, Asturias, Barcelona, Bizkaia, Burgos, Cádiz, Córdoba, Granada, Guadalajara, Jaén, La Rioja, Madrid, Malaga, Navarra, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Seville, Tarragona and Valladolid. Bizkaia is the only one of them that registers an incidence rate of 100 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in 14 days, in the rest the transmission is below 90.
In some of these provinces, such as A Coruña, Cádiz, Córdoba and Jaén, infections have even fallen below 50 per 100,000 inhabitants in the last two weeks, and continue to decline at great speed. In the case of the two Andalusian provinces mentioned, transmission has been reduced by 57% and 60% respectively in 14 days.
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.