By Alyssa McMurtry
OVIEDO, Spain (AA) - The aggressive spread of COVID-19 in Spain continues, with at least 8,618 new cases reported over the weekend.
The daily data does not paint a full picture as the hardest-hit region of Aragon “cleaned” its data, and reported 500 fewer cases in total compared to Friday.
Over the past seven days, nearly 23,000 people have been infected -- 2,500 more infections that the weekly total reported on Friday.
For the first time since the lockdown ended, deaths surged significantly over the weekend with more than 73 new fatalities confirmed by the Health Ministry, with over half of the fatalities registered in the region of Aragon.
Now, at least 28,576 people have lost their lives to the disease in Spain.
Madrid saw a worrying rise in infections, with nearly 2,500 new cases over the weekend. As the capital region continues to have problems around a lack of contact tracers, the premier announced the service would be privatized.
On Monday, the mayor of Puebla de Don Fadrique, a small town near Granada, asked residents to stay at home whenever possible after an outbreak was detected.
A few other small towns in the regions of Extremadura, Murcia and Castile and Leon have been cordoned off, but anyone is allowed to leave or enter some of the worst affected areas like the city of Zaragoza in Aragon.
Just as many of the new large outbreaks began with the cramped and unhygienic living conditions of poorly paid agricultural migrant workers, researchers in Barcelona also found that COVID-19 hit the poorest urban populations the hardest.
A study published by the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute and University Institute of Primary Care found that people in poorer neighborhoods in Barcelona were 250% more likely to have been infected than those in the richest area.
“Efforts to control the pandemic can’t ignore problems of equality,” said Dr. Maria Grau, the lead researcher of the study, in a press release. “If the vicious circle of poverty and disease is not broken, local problems of health inequity will remain or be compounded in areas affected by the pandemic.”