Scientists have warned that Covid cases in the UK will soon match those in the EU nation, which currently has 239 deaths and more than 10,000 infections per day.
The government's Joint Biosecurity Center, which is tracking the spread of the virus, warned Downing Street that the UK is now six weeks behind Spain.
It follows that Prime Minister Boris Johnson said last night it was "inevitable" that a second wave of coronavirus would hit Britain.
Meanwhile, green medical tents are returning to Madrid's military hospital, Gomez Ulla, which is preparing in case the emergency rooms become overcrowded again.
Covid-19 cases are stubbornly increasing in the capital despite the restriction on nightlife, outdoor smoking and the limitation of all group interactions to a maximum of 10 people.
Spain has recorded 819 deaths in the past two weeks, while France has 314 deaths and the UK has 170. Downing Street has been warned that the UK is six weeks behind Spain
Spain recorded 1.9 deaths per day per million population while the UK recorded 0.2 deaths per day per million population. Cases are increasing in the Spanish capital, Madrid
A senior government source told The Times: “The Prime Minister has a very difficult challenge. At the moment we are on the same path as Spain and France.
"Spain recorded 240 deaths on Thursday – they are six weeks ahead of us so it is now being translated from case to death."
A Whitehall source added, "We're seeing cases increasing across age groups and across the country, signs of hospitalization and cases of nursing homes – it feels like we're back where we were in February and March."
The comments came as daily infections in the UK hit a four-month high of 4,322 yesterday. The numbers show that in a week the outbreak nearly doubled and the R number may be 1.4.
Parts of England will be locked again, with curbs including a 10 p.m. pubs and restaurant curfew and a ban on socializing outside households in the North West, Midlands and West Yorkshire starting Tuesday.
A total of around 13 million people are currently exposed to local restrictions.
Spain reported 239 deaths on Wednesday and an average of more than 10,000 new cases per day for the past week.
In Madrid, authorities indicated that the "drastic measures" against the outbreaks could include localized closures and other "mobility restrictions" in the hardest hit areas of the city, which are also the poorest and more densely populated areas.
The R rate in Madrid is 1.15 – any number above 1 is considered harmful to public health as it means that the contagion increases as it spreads
However, experts warn that these measures may not be enough
"There are so many community broadcasts in Madrid that a full lockdown will be required very soon," said Rafael Bengoa, a former WHO official.
"It seems like we're learning too slowly – we haven't acted vigorously enough," he told Cadena SER radio.
Actions are "late and inadequate," said Daniel Lopez Acuna, WHO emergency director. & # 39; You're rethinking it. Action is required. & # 39;
The center-right coalition government in Madrid was in turmoil, part internal struggles, part external criticism as it battled what to do next this week.
The region's top coronavirus pundit announced Wednesday that home stay orders should be expected by the weekend, but its bosses backed off his comments.
Regional leader Isabel Diaz Ayuso was also one of the biggest critics of the national left coalition's handling of the pandemic.
Your government regained control in late June when the central government lifted a state of emergency that sparked a devastating first wave of the virus. But since then, Ayuso had complained that the central authorities weren't helping enough.
Spanish military tents are said to be used by hospital patients yesterday during the coronavirus outbreak at the Gomez Ulla Military Hospital in Madrid, Spain
Four months after similar structures were dismantled to test incoming patients, a series of green tents were erected outside the gates of a military hospital in Madrid
After weeks of sharing the blame for inaction for weeks, Sanchez and Ayuso agreed to meet on Monday with the sole aim of turning the curve, both governments announced on Friday.
Part of the concern is Madrid's ability to spread infections to other parts of the country.
The city is home to 3.3 million people in its urban area and as many more in the surrounding area. It is also Spain's economic powerhouse. It is also centrally located in the heart of the Iberian Peninsula and attracts workers from nearby provinces and visitors from other countries.
On Friday, the city reported more than 5,100 new infections, 200 more than the day before. The regional hospitals treated 2,907 people, including nearly 400 in intensive care units, a third of the country's total.
So far, however, it has been the health centers that are bearing the worst of the crisis. Notoriously underfunded for years, GPs and nurses also now run thousands of virus tests a day and are committed to tracking the contacts of those who turn out to be positive.
This leads to longer and longer delays in the provision of test results. People like Raquel Lopez, a 39-year-old sociologist who was 21 weeks pregnant, waited at home in self-imposed isolation for five days while she waited to find out if she got the virus.
Raquel, who took the test Monday after finding out that a family she'd spent time with a week earlier contracted the virus, was told she was negative on Friday.
"But it could have been either way," said Lopez, who works from home. “My husband and I were responsible and we didn't go out while we waited for the results, but what happens to people who can't afford to miss work? Are they waiting at home or are they going out and possibly infecting others? & # 39;
Lopez lives in Vallecas, a working class neighborhood awaiting some of the restrictions. She is furious with officials who promote the idea that people in impoverished areas are responsible for not using masks, keeping social distancing or completing quarantines.
The national coronavirus balance for Spain has increased in recent weeks, with an average of 10,140 new cases per day in the last week
There have been a total of 366 deaths in Spain in the past seven days, twice as many as the previous week when 177 people died
& # 39; That's not true. We do it just like the rest of Madrid, ”she said. "The truth is that citizens behave a lot better than politicians."
Spain added more than 11,000 new infections on Thursday and recorded 162 new confirmed deaths from the virus. The country has the highest number of cases in Europe since the pandemic began. According to official figures from the Ministry of Health, more than 625,000 people have been infected and at least 30,400 people have died.
Doctors have warned that Madrid is heading "in slow motion" for a repeat of its Covid "atomic bomb" crisis in March.
Spain has recorded an average of more than 10,000 new cases per day for the past week, the worst numbers in Europe and the fifth highest infection rate in the world.
Almost a third of the sick are in Madrid, which scares the capital's medical professionals after taking the brunt of the European spring outbreak – Spain has the highest per capita death rate on the continent.
On September 4th, Madrid recorded 4,852 cases, the highest number of infections in a single day, and the city today has an R-rate of 1.08 – any number greater than one means the contagion is multiplying.
EUROPE'S DAILY CHIRURAVIRUS CASES
UNITED KINGDOM: 3,286
* All figures are based on the last reported seven-day average
Although the numbers need to be offset by Spain's increased testing capacity compared to the first outbreak, the increase is gradually being felt in hospitals.
On Friday, the country reported a total of 366 deaths in the past seven days, which is double the previous week when 177 people died.
"It's like March in a way, but in slow motion," said Dr. Carlos Velayos, who works as an intensive care doctor in the public hospital in the suburbs of Fuenlabrada.
The hospital is expanding its intensive care capacity from 12 to 24 beds by the end of September as all of them are currently filling up with coronavirus patients.
With 1,281 patients in intensive care units on Wednesday, Spain has roughly the same number of beds for treating serious COVID-19 patients as France, the United Kingdom, Germany and Italy combined.
And 359 of them are in the Madrid region, which accounted for around a third of the national average of 8,200 new infections per day last week.
Spain's virus caseload of over 600,000 is one of the highest in the world and more than 30,000 have died in the country from the new virus.
Velayos said predictive models were telling Madrid hospital administrators that some intensive care units could reach maximum capacity in the second half of September. Little or nothing has been done, however, to prevent many health professionals still recovering from the stress of the first wave of the pandemic from returning to longer shifts.
"In March it was like an atomic bomb that brought the entire health system to collapse in a matter of weeks," said Velayos. “We may not be there yet, but that's nothing not to worry about. We have allowed the outbreaks to become uncontrollable. & # 39;
Healthcare workers are better prepared this time around as they learn how to treat incoming patients more effectively and they have resources to better protect themselves from contagion. However, operating theaters in the Madrid area of 6.6 million are already being converted into intensive care units and operations have been postponed as hospitals compete to recruit professionals for the expanded capacity.
Regional authorities say the health system still has room to manage the inbound patient flow, but following warnings from medical staff like Velayos, officials are now responding with stricter measures that could include selective lockdowns in parts of the city as early as next week.
The five countries with the highest average number of daily cases in the past week in Europe. Spain is currently the highest country, France the second highest
Current infection rates in Europe, according to the European Center for Disease Control (ECDC), with Spain and France among the hardest hit countries in the recent rebound
The restrictions, if finally passed, will focus on urban areas where the coronavirus is spreading faster, officials said on Wednesday. These are suburbs like Fuenlabrada, but also working-class neighborhoods in the south of Madrid, where the infection rates have risen steadily since August.
They are also areas where less affluent residents, and mostly migrant families, crowd into small apartments and use public transport to travel to other areas of the Spanish capital for manual labor.
COUNTRIES REPORT THE LATEST CASES / DEATHS EVERY DAY
* All figures are based on the last reported seven-day average
Ángela Cantos lives in the Vallecas neighborhood, one of the hot spots of the latest wave of eruptions. She said that when her neighborhood is locked, "Madrid will be paralyzed".
"Who will cook and clean in other districts when they close here?" She said.
The region's deputy head of health, Dr. Antonio Zapatero said on Wednesday: "Madrid aim to flatten the curve ahead of the arrival of autumn and the complications that the cold weather could bring." the weekend.
Zapatero also said that people have relaxed their protections by holding large gatherings, often forgetting about social distancing or masks. He also announced that police will monitor compliance with mandatory self-isolation, as it has been found that at least 90 people are skipping quarantines after testing positive for the new virus.
The country brought the contagion under control earlier this year with a three-month lockdown, one of the strictest anywhere. Since the restrictions were eased in mid-June, the outbreaks have spread across the country.
The Spanish government says the country is now doing more testing and that more than half of those newly infected have no symptoms. However, health centers have increasing problems dealing with the number of virus tests required and responding to patients. Currently, 8.5 percent of beds in the country treat COVID-19 patients in hospitals, but only one in five beds in Madrid.
In terms of intensive care units, official data shows that 38 percent of beds in the area have coronavirus patients, although some hospitals are already 90 percent busy before they put in place emergency plans for new beds, as they did in the spring.
& # 39; Madrid maintains a constant level of infection but we need to consider the impact of the pandemic in primary care in hospitals, which is currently completely sustainable.
"But we have to make this line of infection decrease," said Zapatero, who was commissioned with the Madrid makeshift hospital in March to provide 1,500 makeshift beds in an exhibition center.
The daily number of cases in Europe (see figure) has reached a record level, according to the WHO, although deaths have so far remained relatively stable
This time the officials hope they don't have to reach that point. The regional government is spending 50 million euros to build a massive new epidemic hospital with more than 1,000 beds by the end of October.
It also holds the promise of more basic care resources as health centers have now become the new bottleneck for affected citizens who may have contracted the virus.
Europe warns of a higher death rate
The WHO warned Europe this week to prepare for higher autumn death rates as cases soared across the continent.
Spain, France, the Netherlands, Malta, Greece, Slovenia and Ukraine are reporting more cases than ever before.
Over the past seven days, Spain has reported an average of 10,140 cases per day, France 8,684, Russia 5,559, the United Kingdom 3,286 and Ukraine 2,953.
The countries with the highest average deaths over the same period were Russia 114, Spain 59, Ukraine 54, Romania 38 and France 36.
“It's getting harder. In October and November we will see more mortality, ”said Hans Kluge, Director of WHO Europe, on Monday.
"It's a moment when countries don't want to hear this bad news and I get it," said Kluge, adding that he wanted to send the "positive message" that the pandemic will end at one moment or another becomes. & # 39;
In addition to most tests, front line doctors in Spanish health centers have now taken on the burden of contact tracing.
"The primary care problems didn't come from the last six months," said Dr. Olaya Muñoz who works in a health center in the heart of Madrid. "COVID was more stressful for a system that had not worked for at least a decade."
Muñoz finds time to talk while catching breath as she walks uphill to visit two elderly patients at home. After that, they expect more than 40 appointments at their community health center. Although she does most of them over the phone these days, she can't spend more than an average of six minutes per patient.
"The workload is just unbearable," she said.
Dr. María Cruz Martín Delgado, spokeswoman for the Spanish Association of Intensive Care Specialists Semicyuc, says a breakdown in primary care could not only result in more asymptomatic cases going undetected, but could also lead to more patients downstream, in and in hospitals Intensive care units.
What Martín wants is a clear protocol from the authorities at national and regional level on how to proceed.
"We need to know why to turn down other patients because we doctors can't take responsibility for responding to an emergency again if we don't have the resources," she said.
Velayos, the intensive care specialist from Fuenlabrada, said the work overload in March and April was widely recognized by his colleagues as part of an exceptional situation that had to be dealt with with all the generosity of the world.
"But right now we're talking about a chronic situation where stress will be the norm and routine," he said.
(tagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) Nachrichten (t) Coronavirus (t) Spain