The Spanish Health Ministry´s latest official figures for the Covid-19 infection rate shows a continuing fall to it´s lowest level since July last year.
The figures which were released yesterday, Monday 8th March and covers Friday to Sunday, show that Spain´s 14-day cumulative infection rate has fallen to 142.24 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, compared to a peak of 899.9 in the second week of February.
Madrid´s rate of 236.41 remains the highest of the mainland autonomous communities and nearly three times it´s neighbours of Castilla La Mancha on 79.99 or Castilla y Leon on 127.27.
However, the Madrid regional government have announced that the vaccination programme is accelerating and has now covered 7% of the population with more to come.
The regional health minister,Enrique Ruiz Escudero, said today in an interview on Spanish broadcaster ‘Antena 3’ that Madrid will be receiving 1 million additional does of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine ( which requires only 1 dose) from the end of this week with the expectation of rolling out the new vaccine from the beginning of April.
Spain has ordered 20 million doses of the 200 million that are being sourced through the European Union from the US pharmaceutical giant.
Fernando Simon, the government’s chief epidemiologist and covid coordinator stressed that the improvement in the number of new infections is due to the maintenance of strict health protocols and social mobility restrictions and urged citizens to “continue to wear masks, observing social distancing and avoiding groups or crowds”.
The rate is now well below the government “extreme risk” threshold of 250 infections per 100,000 but well above the target of 25 which would signal that the pandemic has receeded to the point of being under control.
The goverment´s Inter-Territorial Council of the National Health System (CISNS) to coordinate the central government with the country´s 17 autonomous regions is set to meet to discuss the regulation of movement over the Easter holiday period.
Most regions are firm in instisting on continued perimetral lockdowns with the exception of Madrid and the Canary Islands who advocate a relaxation in mobility restrictions.
The lower infection figures have had a knock-on effect on hospital admissions with just 7.81% of beds now occupied by Coivid-19 patients though the figure for intensive care unit (ICU) beds remains high at 24.27% of the total. .
To date Spain has received 5,583,955 doses of Covid-19 vaccines, of which 4,712,191 have been administered including 1,383,488 of the all important second dose.
To date Spain has recorded 3,160,970 cases of Covid-19 of whom 71,436 have died.