Coronavirus: Barcelona sees 'worrying' surge in new infections

21 July 2020, 14:07

Barcelona is one of two areas hardest hit by a new surge in virus cases
Barcelona is one of two areas hardest hit by a new surge in virus cases. Picture: PA

Barcelona is one of two areas in Spain's Catalonia region that has become the hardest-hit in a second surge of coronavirus.

Local reports say a total of 936 COVID-19 cases were recorded last week in the Catalonian capital, which is said to be more than three times higher than the previous week.

The other region, an agricultural area, has also seen a sharp uptick in new infections.

Dr Jacobo Mendioroz, the epidemiologist in charge of Catalonia's virus response, told a local radio station: "We are seeing a rise in cases and community contagion that worries us."

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It comes after doctors and patients in Catalonia and other Spanish regions said an early detection system to pinpoint local outbreaks could be insufficient.

"The system of contact tracers can still be improved," Dr Mendioroz said, adding: "Now we have 300 tracers and we are going to add another 600 shortly."

Authorities in Barcelona have also implemented extra measures by limiting the amount of people who can go on the beach to ensure social distancing is followed.

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Nationwide, a total of 628 virus cases were recorded in 24 hours on Friday - the highest number since the state of emergency was brought to an end.

This came after the weekly toll of new cases came in at 5,965, which is more than double the 2,944 recorded a week earlier.

A three-month lockdown was imposed earlier this year to quell the first wave of the virus that killed at least 28,000 people, with people nervous of seeing this happen once again.