Contagions are triggered again in half of the municipalities just before the start of Christmas in Spain. Almost two months after the rapid decline in infections in the second wave of the coronavirus in Spain, the evolution of the pandemic begins to show a change in trend in most localities in the country. More than 900 cities and towns where half of the Spanish population lives again register a rise in infections. Among them, large capitals such as Madrid, Barcelona, Palma and Valencia, in which cases have multiplied again in the last two weeks. This is the result of the analysis carried out by elDiario.es based on data from the Health Councils of 17 autonomous communities and the cities of Ceuta and Melilla.
The curve of confirmed cases of coronavirus is decreasing in 898 municipalities where 34% of the Spanish population lives. However, the pandemic is on the rise📈in 902 municipalities where 48% of the population live and in a plateau phase in 154 where 8% live. The rest are very small municipalities where very few cases are registered – less than 5 every two weeks – or for which there is no information available – which represent 11% of the Spanish population. Where are cases going up? Mainly, in Madrid, Catalunya, Tenerife (with Santa Cruz de Tenerife at the top), the Balearic Islands (with Palma with an extreme incidence), the Valencian Community and Extremadura.
This new rise in the curve comes after a general reduction in extreme incidents that were registered in practically the entire territory just a month ago. A trend that has been reversed with the figures recorded in the last week. According to the latest figures, two million Spaniards reside in municipalities with an incidence of more than 500 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, twice the rate that the Ministry of Health describes as “very high” risk. Last week only one million people lived in municipalities with this incidence.
In large Spanish cities, although the decline compared to the peak of the second wave is evident, the rebound in infections is already changing the epidemiological situation of the most important cities in the territory. Last week, for the first time in months, not a single large Spanish city had more than 500 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. With the latest data available, two large municipalities once again exceed this threshold: Palma (Mallorca) and Vila-Real (Castellón).
The map that opens this information shows the data of total confirmed COVID-19 cases, in 14 days and the trend of infections in each municipality of the autonomous communities that have published their data on infections in each town: practically the entire territory With the exception of the smaller municipalities of Castilla y León, Castilla-La Mancha and Galicia, which do not break down the figures for the municipalities with fewer inhabitants.
The data for each municipality show the same variable: the number of people who have tested positive for coronavirus and for whom their place of residence has been identified. Most communities include the data of positives by PCR test, antigen test and some also add the cases confirmed by rapid antibody test. This medium, which has been collecting data by municipality since the end of March, calculates the trend of cases in each municipality by comparing the number of confirmed cases in the last two weeks with the infections detected in the previous two weeks.
It must be borne in mind that the data from the communities are not always homogeneous with each other due to the type of tests they include, the dates on which their figures are updated or due to changes in the publication of the data in the same month. More details on the methodology.
The following graph shows the ranking of large municipalities (more than 40,000 inhabitants) according to the number of confirmed cases in the last 14 days in relation to their population and also how the incidence has varied in the last two weeks compared to the previous two.
The update date of each community depends on each one of them: most keep their figures updated weekly but some are delayed when updating their figures.
In total, the figures collected add up to more than one million cases of coronavirus in which the municipality of residence of the infected person has been identified. Of the 17 autonomies analyzed, Madrid is the city with the most infected detected in a single municipality. However, the municipalities with the highest incidence rate (cases per 100,000 inhabitants) are small localities in which an outbreak can affect a larger proportion of the population.
Many municipalities do not appear as there is no data available and some communities do not publish the total number of confirmed cases since the beginning of the epidemic. It must be taken into account that the number of cases is closely related to the ability to detect them by the health authorities. That is, the more tests or analyzes performed, the more cases detected. How many confirmed cases are there in each municipality and how is the current incidence in your locality? Check it out in the following table.
Several communities initially refused to publish data by municipality to avoid the social stigmatization of small municipalities with many infected. This is the case of the Autonomous Government of La Rioja, which at first was not going to publish data by locality and now publishes it for all municipalities.
Balearics, according to this last minute information, at first refused to share his data, although in the end he published it. Extremadura, under the same criteria, initially only published 8 most populated municipalities in the region. Now it publishes the figures even by local entities, villages and districts. Castilla y León is only publishing its figures for municipalities with more than 1,000 inhabitants and Castilla-La Mancha those with more than 500 inhabitants. They are not the only cases, practically half of the regions refused to publish their figures, arguing that they wanted to avoid the stigmatization of specific municipalities. Today, they all publish their data on Covid-19 cases by municipality.
Galicia has been the last to publish the figures by municipality, which has added to its Covid-19 data portal almost 6 months since the start of the epidemic. The Galician community does not publish the figures for the municipalities that have registered between 1 and 9 cases in the last 14 days. Now all the autonomies publish the figures broken down by locality on their transparency portals, open data web or official pages with the situation of Covid-19.
Precisely, these data are essential to combat an epidemic: they make it possible to detect sources of contagion and act accordingly, provide more information to local administrations and regional governments of neighboring communities and facilitate the analysis of the impact of the epidemic.
This analysis allows us to verify in which areas there is a higher incidence rate based on variables such as average income, percentage of the population over 65 years of age or population density. Precisely, from all administrations hundreds of statistics are published broken down by municipality: population by age, country of birth, nationality, average income, data on registered unemployment, level of studies or mortality rates.
Countries such as Germany, the United Kingdom or the United States publish their data on confirmed cases at the district, local authority and county level, an administrative level similar to a municipality in Spain.