Spain sees surge in Covid and flu: masks and teleworking are back

Are masks coming back? Photo: Wikimedia CC / www.vperemen.compandemic

The measures have been proposed by the Health Department in the face of the increase in Covid and flu infections. According to data, the percentage of people testing positive for Covid has increased by 14 per cent and influenza infections are up by 20 per cent.

The spike in respiratory infections coincides with lower flu and coronavirus vaccinations. The Ministry of Health recently released data on the number of people who have been vaccinated. Only 60 per cent of people over the age of 80 had received the injection, whereas in the worst years of the pandemic this percentage was almost 100 per cent.

The figure is even lower in patients aged 70-79 (47 per cent) and in those aged 60-69, as only 27 per cent of Spaniards in this age group have been vaccinated. “The 60-69 age group clearly does not see itself as a vulnerable population and this is being noticed,” said Jaime Pérez, president of the Spanish Vaccination Association (AEV). The organisation launched a campaign at the beginning of the season to encourage the population to get immunised.

Infection rate increases

Faced with the increased infection, the Ministry of Health has issued a recommendation to contain the spread of the virus. This is due to the fact that in the last week there has been an increase of nearly 40 per cent, which is why several measures have been added to prevent contagion: washing hands, covering the mouth when coughing or sneezing and using masks.

In addition, everyone has also been advised to adopt  remote working in case of flu symptoms, even if they are mild. These proactive measures are aimed not only at protecting the person with symptoms, but also at preventing transmission to others in the workplace. Companies and employees are encouraged to collaborate to implement this measure effectively, allowing those with symptoms to fulfil their work responsibilities from home.

Will mandatory masks be brought back?

In the end, masks become an indispensable tool of protection, especially in enclosed and crowded places. These recommendations reinforce the government’s commitment to the health and safety of the community, calling for individual and collective responsibility in public health management.

Since Christmas and new year, following family get togethers, dinners in crowded restaurants and big parties, infection rates have once again soared. Emergency rooms across Spain are overloaded due to the increase of influenza and Covid patients being admitted. The incidence rate of acute respiratory diseases in Spain as a whole stands at 908.6 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, an increase of 12.7% compared to the previous week.

Hospitals are starting to struggle and some regions including Catalonia, which includes Barcelona and Mallorca, have asked the public to return to responsible use of masks. And, as of Friday, January 5, Valencia’s health department is insisting on the mandatory use of masks in health centres and hospitals due to this rise in respiratory infections including Covid. The Valencia region which includes holiday areas including Alicante and Benidorm, has reported an even higher rate of 1,501 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

The infection rate will continue to, “grow vertically for two or three more weeks” after the return to school following the Christmas break, according to Dr Antonio Zapatero, former president of the Spanish Society of Internal Medicine in Madrid.

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Written by

Kevin Fraser Park

Kevin was born in Scotland and worked in marketing, running his own businesses in UK, Italy and, for the last 8 years, here in Spain. He moved to the Costa del Sol in 2016 working initially in real estate. He has a passion for literature and particularly the English language which is how he got into writing.


    • WRG

      27 December 2023 • 23:22

      Why the “dreaded” mask? Do you prefer staying unmasked and getting brain damage, blood clots, diabetes, losing you sense of smell, having a heart attack? Good masks save health and lives. There’s nothing to dread about them.

      • Kevin Fraser Park

        28 December 2023 • 14:55

        Thanks for your comment. The main problem with mask wearing is among people who work in retail, hospitality and transport who were obliged to wear masks all day, every day. They, more than others, dread their reintroduction

      • Emil Hristov

        28 December 2023 • 23:55

        Muzzles lead to brain damage. If the pathetic socialist government makes them again mandatory, l will just leave the country. I had enough!

    • Rob Henshaw

      29 December 2023 • 01:14

      Masks don’t work well but bureaucracy loves using them to show they are in charge…tell them to stuff their masks.

    • Jessica

      29 December 2023 • 10:12

      They can stick their masks where the sun doesnt shine. they dont work, they cause health problems, not prevent them

    • jessica

      29 December 2023 • 10:59

      There is considerable evidence to show that masks don´t work and can make chest conditions worse

    • Collin

      05 January 2024 • 05:10

      Masks are a humiliation ritual used by the elite for the peasants and a fear inducer to promote compliance. Anyone who still thinks they help should read the studies that say they do not. It’s social engineering. They do not work and they know that.

    • Frank

      05 January 2024 • 19:17

      Derek draper is dead.
      Kate is now a widow and is heartbrokeb5

    Comments are closed.