Spain's health minister, Salvador Illa, said on Wednesday that although Spain has the most coronavirus infections in Europe, "the situation is not so different to that of neighbouring countries". There has been an increase in mobility, and he recognised that "tourism is a very important factor in Spain".
Illa attributed the increase in cases of infection to there having been more testing over recent weeks. "There is very significant early detection of Covid-19, and mobility has led to a notable increase in cases." The minister stressed that the situation is "not comparable" to as it was in March and April.
Hospital pressure, he noted, currently stands at six per cent. There are fewer deaths, half of cases are asymptomatic, and new infections are occurring mostly among younger people. The situation, he suggested, will become "worrying" if hospital operations have to be rescheduled. "This has not happened so far, but the situation is as it is, and measures must be taken. The regions are adopting these and, with the support of the government, are stabilising the increase in cases."
The minister highlighted efforts in Aragon and Catalonia to contain outbreaks in July and ones now being adopted in Madrid, which currently has the most cases.
Illa once again ruled out there being a general confinement like that which was ordered in March. "The circumstances do not exist" for this to be applied, while the regions are taking specific measures to stop transmission of the virus. "I support measures being adopted by regional health authorities, as we must act promptly and firmly. I believe that all the decisions of these authorities are proportionate." He added that municipalities need to be consulted when these decisions are made, as they have an important role to play in the control and follow-up of cases.