Spain’s coronavirus cases surpass 2 million

The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Spain surpassed 2 million on Thursday after the Ministry of Health reported 42,160 new infections and 245 deaths for the period between 2 p.m. on January 5 and 2 p.m. on January 7.

The country has registered 20,24,904 cases of Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic, and 51,675 people have lost their lives to the virus. Meanwhile, the incidence of the virus has risen to 321 cases of Covid-19 per 1,00,000 inhabitants over the previous 14 days.

In response to the rising number of cases and fears of a third wave, many of Spain’s autonomous regions have announced tougher restrictions, the Xinhua news agency reported.

The Catalan region has banned movement between municipalities, and the regions of Extremadura, La Rioja, Castilla la Mancha, Murcia and Valencia will close their borders from Thursday and will impose a curfew starting from 10 p.m.

The Castilla-Leon region on Thursday also closed its borders and imposed a 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew until May 9.

These restrictions coincide with the start of the January sales period, which this year is expected to see far fewer people take advantage of post-Christmas bargains.

The Health Ministry also reported that by Thursday, 2,07,323 doses of the BioNtech-Pfizer vaccine had been administered from the total of 7,43,925 doses that have so far been received.

On a more positive note, Health Minister Salvador Illa confirmed on Thursday that Spain should receive the first doses of the Moderna vaccine in the coming “seven to ten days.” The country is scheduled to receive 6,00,000 doses over the next six weeks.

As the world is struggling to contain the pandemic, vaccination is underway in some countries with the already-authorised coronavirus vaccines.

Meanwhile, 235 candidate vaccines are still being developed worldwide — 63 of them in clinical trials — in countries including Germany, China, Russia, Britain and the United States, according to information released by the World Health Organization on Wednesday.