Spain’s spike in COVID-19 cases came after reopening too soon, says GlobalData

COVID-19 cases began increasing in Spain from July, which, while could be partially down to an increase in COVID-19 testing, does coincide with the holiday season, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Bishal Bhandari, PhD, Senior Epidemiologist at GlobalData, comments: “Spain’s reliance on summer holiday tourism meant that the country deemed that nation-wide shutdowns were no longer viable and reopened the economy before the pandemic was fully under control to avoid the negative ramifications of complete lockdowns. On average, 1,700 daily new cases of COVID-19 were reported in July in Spain, five times higher than in June. This surge is still lower than the country’s peak cases in March, when approximately 8,000 new daily cases were reported.”

Bhandari continued: “After the first wave in March, Spain managed to control the rise of infections with strict lockdown measures and could have prevented a disastrous second wave if it continued strict social distancing measures complemented by effective testing, contact tracing and shutdown in regions where outbreak hotspots occur. However, Spain has now overtaken UK to become most heavily affected country in Western Europe, and is expected to reach 400,000 total confirmed cases in the next two weeks.”

Some of the rise could be associated with increased testing, as the number of average tests per day in the country has risen from an average of 10,000 in March and April to more than 40,000 per day in the last week of July.

Other European countries such as France, Germany and the UK have also recently seen a similar uptick in daily new cases coinciding with the reopening of their economies.

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