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Coronavirus Updates: A Surge in Infections Among Young People Leading Up to a Fifth Wave

A Surge of Coronavirus Cases Among Young People
Image: Freepik | Doubledose
A Surge of Coronavirus Cases Among Young People
Image: Freepik | Doubledose

The number of Coronavirus cases in Spain has spiked in the past two weeks after almost two months of sustained drops that had filled Spaniards with hopes that the pandemic was under control. But a week into the summer, with increasingly eased restrictions for national and international travel and laxer measures regarding face coverings and extended hospitality opening hours, the 14-day incidence rate now stands at 134 cases, coming from 117 the day before.

The difference between age groups is remarkable. Among adolescents, aged 12 to 19, the infection rate has reached 345 cases per 100,000 inhabitants; among the 20-29 age group, the number is 367. There is also a stark difference between regions, and in some of them, the data is worrying. In Catalonia, the incidence in these two age groups stands at 612 and 623 cases, respectively. In Cantabria, on the Spanish north coast, the numbers are 804 and 853. This explosion of cases comes amid end-of-year student trips and the end of the university admission exams, with thousands of students eager to socialize and party.

Only in Mallorca, a popular student destination, there was a coronavirus outbreak involving 2,000 positive cases and 6,000 people in quarantine spread over 12 Spanish regions. This mass outbreak took place between June 12 and 18, just as restrictions were being eased on the island. Although nightclubs were closed, students gathered outdoors to drink or attended parties on yachts, consistently flouting social distancing precautions.

As a result, 249 students were confined to quarantine in the Palma Bellver Hotel, 26% of which tested positive. Following complaints from students who had tested negative but were nonetheless being kept in the hotel against their will, a judge ordered the release of those students with a negative PCR. On Thursday, a “bubble boat” carried 118 students in an isolated area to Valencia so they could return home.

Concerns over a fifth wave of coronavirus are on the rise, especially because the Delta variant is gaining ground. According to the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, it is 40-60% more transmissible than the Alpha strain and may be associated with a higher risk of hospitalisation. The centre forecasts that it will account for 90% of the new coronavirus infections by the end of August

A fifth wave would not be as deadly this time around thanks to the vaccination campaign, which is moving forward briskly. As of Friday, June 2, over 54% of the Spanish population have received one dose of the vaccine and 38% are fully protected against the virus. At a press conference on Thursday, prime minister Pedro Sánchez said that before the end of the week, “40% of people will be fully vaccinated.» A claim that does not seem that far-fetched since only on Thursday over 765.399 doses were administered.

Another reason why the surge in cases would be more lenient lies in the fact that vulnerable groups are almost fully immunised, except for those in the 60-69 age bracket waiting for the second jab of the AstraZeneca vaccine. Several regions, which are in charge of running their health systems, are bringing forward the second dose to avoid an increase in hospitalisations and potential deaths among people in this age group. On the other hand, ICUs (6,5%, near the no-risk point of 5%) and deaths stand at a record low since the pandemic began.

Dearexpat, is aimed at English-speaking readers who have been living in Spain for long enough to be interested in the country’s current affairs, with a focus on politics, the economy, society, and culture. In fact, anyone, anywhere with a keen interest in Spain might find it helpful. Since we are usually overwhelmed by an endless outpouring of news, this newsletter will be published on Fridays to provide readers with an overview of the most noteworthy events taking place during the week.

Get up to date with what is going on in Spain in just one go.
Sign up to Dearexpat,

The number of Coronavirus cases in Spain has spiked in the past two weeks after almost two months of sustained drops that had filled Spaniards with hopes that the pandemic was under control. But a week into the summer, with increasingly eased restrictions for national and international travel and laxer measures regarding face coverings and extended hospitality opening hours, the 14-day incidence rate now stands at 134 cases, coming from 117 the day before.

The difference between age groups is remarkable. Among adolescents, aged 12 to 19, the infection rate has reached 345 cases per 100,000 inhabitants; among the 20-29 age group, the number is 367. There is also a stark difference between regions, and in some of them, the data is worrying. In Catalonia, the incidence in these two age groups stands at 612 and 623 cases, respectively. In Cantabria, on the Spanish north coast, the numbers are 804 and 853. This explosion of cases comes amid end-of-year student trips and the end of the university admission exams, with thousands of students eager to socialize and party.

Only in Mallorca, a popular student destination, there was a coronavirus outbreak involving 2,000 positive cases and 6,000 people in quarantine spread over 12 Spanish regions. This mass outbreak took place between June 12 and 18, just as restrictions were being eased on the island. Although nightclubs were closed, students gathered outdoors to drink or attended parties on yachts, consistently flouting social distancing precautions.

As a result, 249 students were confined to quarantine in the Palma Bellver Hotel, 26% of which tested positive. Following complaints from students who had tested negative but were nonetheless being kept in the hotel against their will, a judge ordered the release of those students with a negative PCR. On Thursday, a “bubble boat” carried 118 students in an isolated area to Valencia so they could return home.

Concerns over a fifth wave of coronavirus are on the rise, especially because the Delta variant is gaining ground. According to the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, it is 40-60% more transmissible than the Alpha strain and may be associated with a higher risk of hospitalisation. The centre forecasts that it will account for 90% of the new coronavirus infections by the end of August

A fifth wave would not be as deadly this time around thanks to the vaccination campaign, which is moving forward briskly. As of Friday, June 2, over 54% of the Spanish population have received one dose of the vaccine and 38% are fully protected against the virus. At a press conference on Thursday, prime minister Pedro Sánchez said that before the end of the week, “40% of people will be fully vaccinated.» A claim that does not seem that far-fetched since only on Thursday over 765.399 doses were administered.

Another reason why the surge in cases would be more lenient lies in the fact that vulnerable groups are almost fully immunised, except for those in the 60-69 age bracket waiting for the second jab of the AstraZeneca vaccine. Several regions, which are in charge of running their health systems, are bringing forward the second dose to avoid an increase in hospitalisations and potential deaths among people in this age group. On the other hand, ICUs (6,5%, near the no-risk point of 5%) and deaths stand at a record low since the pandemic began.

Dearexpat, is aimed at English-speaking readers who have been living in Spain for long enough to be interested in the country’s current affairs, with a focus on politics, the economy, society, and culture. In fact, anyone, anywhere with a keen interest in Spain might find it helpful. Since we are usually overwhelmed by an endless outpouring of news, this newsletter will be published every Friday to provide readers with an overview of the most noteworthy events taking place during the previous week.

Get up to date with what is going on in Spain in just one go. Sign up to Dearexpat,

Dearexpat, is aimed at English-speaking readers who have been living in Spain for long enough to be interested in the country’s current affairs, with a focus on politics, the economy, society, and culture. In fact, anyone, anywhere with a keen interest in Spain might find it helpful. Since we are usually overwhelmed by an endless outpouring of news, this newsletter will be published every Friday to provide readers with an overview of the most noteworthy events taking place during the previous week.

Get up to date with what is going on in Spain in just one go. Sign up to Dearexpat,