The Spain study into the prevalence of coronavirus in the population has been published by the Spanish Ministry Of Health showing that 11.7% of the population of the Madrid region and 5.2% of the Spanish population as a whole have developed the coronavirus antibodies.
Within primary health care professionals and other Covid-19 frontline workers the national prevalence rate is higher with nearly 10% for healthcare workers in hospitals and medical centres, 7% for old age people home staff and 6.3% for 112 staff ( police and firefighters and ambulance).
The study which was also published in the Lancet was carried over 2 months in several countries and consisted of three waves of testing with 68,000 participants.
The highest antibody rate in Spain is in Soria with 14.4% and the lowest in Asturias and Galicia on the mainland and the Balearic and Canary Islands were all under 2%.
The Spanish figure is in line with other European countries including Sweden which did not implement as strict lockdown measures as in Spain. Indeed the Lancet went on to say “even countries
without strict lockdown measures have reported similarly low seroprevalence—eg, Sweden, which reported a prevalence of 7·3% at the end of April— leaving them far from reaching natural herd immunity in the population.”
In order to reach the “herd” immunity levels antibodies should be present in 60% of the population. Indeed the The Lancet report warns that ” in light of these findings, any proposed approach to achieve herd immunity through natural infection is not only highly unethical, but also unachievable” and that ” virus circulation can quickly return to early pandemic dimensions in a second wave once measures are lifted.”
To date Madrid has registered 72,168 cases of whom 8439 have died out of a total for Spain of 297,625 cases and 28,385 fatalities.