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Cases triple in Spain as families gather and young people party

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A man holds a placard during a protest of gym staff and users over the closure of gyms as part of the restrictions to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at the San Jaume square, in Barcelona, Spain. Placard reads: "Bars yes, groups yes, gyms not. Why not?". Photo: REUTERS/Nacho Doce

A man holds a placard during a protest of gym staff and users over the closure of gyms as part of the restrictions to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at the San Jaume square, in Barcelona, Spain. Placard reads: "Bars yes, groups yes, gyms not. Why not?". Photo: REUTERS/Nacho Doce

REUTERS

A man holds a placard during a protest of gym staff and users over the closure of gyms as part of the restrictions to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at the San Jaume square, in Barcelona, Spain. Placard reads: "Bars yes, groups yes, gyms not. Why not?". Photo: REUTERS/Nacho Doce

Cases of coronavirus in Spain have tripled in the past three weeks as more new infections are linked to young people going to parties, health authorities have said.

Since one of Europe's strictest lockdowns came to an end last month, Spaniards have relaxed back into daily life and the number of clusters has soared to 201 across the country.

According to data from the Spanish health ministry, the occurrence of Covid-19 cases has jumped from eight per 100,000 at the end of June, when the country's state of emergency ended, to 27 per 100,000 - the same ratio as when Spain started to ease lockdown measures on May 11.

Around half of all the outbreaks can be traced to gatherings of families, or discos and bars, health authorities said.

A study by the Carlos III Institute in Madrid found the number of people aged between 15 and 29 who tested positive for coronavirus was now triple that of those aged between 60 and 79.

In Cordoba, in southern Spain, 73 people tested positive after a disco and 670 partygoers had to be traced.

The highest number of outbreaks have been found in Catalonia, Aragon and the Basque region. Barcelona has limited beach access and the Catalan government has ordered a localised lockdown affecting 160,000 people.

Over the weekend, 4,581 new cases were recorded. All regions except Madrid and the Canary Islands have made wearing masks compulsory, even when social distancing can be maintained.

Meanwhile, around one-quarter of the population of New Delhi have contracted Covid-19, according to a government study, raising hopes that the city's population could become the first globally to develop herd immunity.

Indian public health experts had long predicted the actual virus prevalence was much higher than the official rate of 1pc, due to a severe lack of testing in the capital.

The serosurvey suggests the majority of cases have been asymptomatic so far and, as the nation heads towards a November peak, its hospitals may not be as inundated with serious cases as initially feared.

Irish Independent