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Spain to keep schools open despite soaring COVID infection rate

Spain to keep schools open despite soaring COVID infection rate
One out of every 41 people in country has tested positive in last 2 weeks

By Alyssa McMurtry

OVIEDO, Spain (AA) - Spain’s leaders unanimously agreed to keep schools open and maintain in-person classes after the Christmas holidays despite the country’s COVID-19 infection rate hitting staggering new highs Tuesday.

“We can return to classes safely and calmly. We need prudence but not alarmism,” said Education Minister Pilar Alegria after central government ministers met with regional leaders.

The decision comes as Spain’s Health Ministry reported nearly 118,000 new infections – up 18,100 from last Tuesday.

The infection rate shows that at least one out of every 41 people in Spain has tested positive for the coronavirus in the last two weeks.

The test positivity rate sits at 29%, so the real number of infections is likely much higher.

In the country’s worst-hit group, 20-year-olds in the region of Navarra, nearly one in 10 people has tested positive in the last 14 days.

Despite the unprecedented levels of contagion, the number of hospitalized patients remains well below past waves thanks to Spain’s high vaccination rate and the rise of the milder omicron variant.

The infection rate is also less than half the national average in people older than 60 as 83% have received a booster shot.

Around 11% of the country’s hospital beds are being used to treat COVID-19 patients.

Another 116 people died from the disease, two more than on Tuesday of last week.

Meanwhile, Spain’s Science Minister Diana Morant said Tuesday that the Spanish vaccine against COVID-19 is showing strong protection against omicron in its current clinical trial.

The recombinant protein-based vaccine could be approved as soon as the second quarter of this year, she added.

source: News Feed
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