Spain Breaks COVID-19 Record for Western Europe With 500,000+ Cases
Spain set a dubious record Monday when it became the first country in Western Europe to pass half a million coronavirus cases.
The Spanish Ministry of Health reported 525,549 cases Monday, up more than 26,000 from Friday's confirmed caseload of 498,989, according to Reuters. The news came the same day as six regions in Spain were set to begin in-person schooling.
"They aren't taking adequate measures," 25-year-old Madrid resident Lux Marin told Reuters. "Look, people are walking around without face masks, the government is opening schools and that is not fair to children or to adults."
🔷Actualización de datos de #COVID19 en España https://t.co/aCjgN7Wd7C 🔶Materiales de información sobre el… https://t.co/8lJfaq8qXR— Ministerio de Sanidad (@Ministerio de Sanidad)1599496221.0
Spain was one of the hardest hit European countries during the first wave of the pandemic, The New York Times pointed out, and it imposed strict lockdown measures in response. People were only allowed outside to walk their dogs or buy groceries. But, starting in July, the country reopened restaurants, bars, shops and beaches and welcomed international visitors. It restarted activities like nightlife and group gatherings faster than the rest of Europe, something that has contributed to the latest surge in cases.
Joan Ramon Villalbi of the Spanish Society for Public Health and Sanitary Administration told Reuters that the country emerged from lockdown before adequate test and trace measures were in place. He also blamed the country's high population density, different rules in different Spanish regions and the difficult circumstances faced by low-wage workers.
"For these vulnerable workers, whether in agriculture, domestic service or in restaurants, you can tell them to stay at home for two weeks but it's not clear they can afford that," he told Reuters.
On the bright side, Spain's resurging outbreak is so far less deadly than its first. The mortality rate for COVID-19 cases is now 6.6 percent compared to 12 percent in the spring, according to The New York Times.
The first outbreak struck Spain's elderly population, and the country regularly reported daily death totals of more than 800 in March and April, according to Reuters. The resurgence is mostly impacting the young. The country reported eight deaths Monday, for a combined total of 29,516 since the pandemic started.
The new surge has also not put undue pressure on hospitals, but co-founder of Spain's Institute for Health and Strategy Rafael Bengoa said the healthcare system could become overwhelmed in the future as patients develop complications from the virus.
"Many people will be infected, and some of these people, while they won't die, will suffer an immediate and severe impact on their health that will likely be long-lasting," he told Reuters.
Spain's record comes as cases are rising across Western Europe, Axios pointed out.
France reported 8,975 new cases Friday, breaking the record it had set in March. The UK, meanwhile, reported 2,988 new cases Sunday, its highest daily total since May.
"People have relaxed too much, now is the time for us to re-engage, and to realise that this a continuing threat to us," England's deputy chief medical officer professor Jonathan Van Tam told BBC News Monday.
- Barcelona Opera House Reopens With Concert for 2,292 Plants ... ›
- Global Coronavirus Cases Top 6 Million as Lockdown Measures Ease ›
- Asymptomatic COVID-19: Five Questions Answered - EcoWatch ›
- New York State Now Leads the World in Coronavirus Cases ... ›
- Coronavirus Update: France Enters Nationwide Lockdown - EcoWatch ›
By Mark Hertsgaard and Kyle Pope
In this autumn of horrific fires and deadly floods, it's easy to overlook one bit of promising news on the climate front: Some major U.S. media coverage of the crisis is finally getting better.
- Media Avoid Climate Change in Wildfire and Extreme Weather ... ›
- 'Call It a Crisis': Report Details Failure of Cable and Network Outlets ... ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Leanna First-Arai
In a push to capture the rural vote, 62 percent of which went to Trump in 2016, both the Trump and Biden campaigns are ramping up efforts to appeal to farmers and ranchers.
- Trump's Post Office Chaos Leads to Deaths of Thousands of Chicks ... ›
- 6 Ways Trump Is Bad for Food, Health and the Environment ... ›
- Angering Organic Farmers and Advocates, Trump's USDA Kills ... ›
California Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order Wednesday that would ban the sale of new cars in California that run only on gasoline by the year 2035. The bid to reduce emissions and combat the climate crisis would make California the first state to ban the sale of new cars with internal combustion engines, according to POLITICO.
- How Norway Convinced Drivers to Switch to Electric Cars - EcoWatch ›
- Amsterdam Plans to Ban All Non-Electric Vehicles by 2030 - EcoWatch ›
- California Won't Buy From Automakers 'on the Wrong Side of History ... ›
- The UK Could Ban Gas and Diesel Car Sales in 12 Years - EcoWatch ›
- Spain Proposes Bill to Ban Gas and Diesel Vehicles - EcoWatch ›
A "trash tsunami" has washed ashore on the beaches of Honduras, endangering both wildlife and the local economy.
More long-finned pilot whales were found stranded today on beaches in Tasmania, Australia. About 500 whales have become stranded, including at least 380 that have died, the AP reported. It is the largest mass stranding in Australia's recorded history.
- Annual Whale Slaughter Still a Tradition on the Faroe Islands ... ›
- Hundreds of Pilot Whales Die in Devastating Mass Stranding in New ... ›