A same data can mean many things. The latest report of the Ministry of Health with the figures of the pandemic in Spain shows a crude number: the number of infections in the Community of Madrid has increased to 10,575 cases. It is the highest number since the epidemic began and yet at the same time it is one of the few hopeful facts to hold on to right now.
Madrid, the locomotive of the Covid-19 in Spain, seems to be slowing down when just two weeks have passed since the schools closed, the first restrictive measure taken days before the decree of the state of alarm. Facing the discouraging curve of new accumulated cases – which never goes down – is that of the daily rate of increase, which accurately shows the speed at which the virus reproduces.
On March 9, the Community of Madrid launched to apply the first measures in Scenario 2, not to contain the disease but to restrict outbreaks. He did it after a alarming increase of 185% in the number of cases during the sadly famous weekend before — it must be remembered that these infections did not take place during the March 8-M or the Vox meeting but in the previous two weeks, but it was on that Monday that the symptoms began to stand out in hundreds of people— followed by a rate that exceeded 40% daily increase.
That is to say, every two days the number of infected was doubling in Madrid, as we have already done at the time (March 12) at El Confidencial.
Madrid went from registering a daily increase in cases from 185% from March 8 to 9 to 5.7% from March 19 to 20
As of March 14, the date the alarm state began and mobility was further restricted, this rate of increase dropped even further and in the last week Madrid has managed to contain this rate below 20% even going down to 5.7% increase on day 20.
This it's not a victoryIt must be remembered that we are still on the rise and that every day hospitals are filling up with more patients. It is a drop in new infections that, beware, has peaks of the mountains and last Saturday it rose again to 24.5% before falling below 9% for two days in a row. It is not a victory, just a demonstration that containment measures are paying off and we must continue like this.
The problem multiplies
Madrid is still a headache for the authorities, but it is no longer the only one. Catalonia and the Basque Country, the next two autonomous communities with the most cases, have one more march. Also in Galicia, which was one of the last Autonomous Communities to count infected among its citizens, positives continue to rise day after day with considerable speed, from between 23.8 and 32.8% in the last week.
The panorama reminds – saving the distances – of the Comparison between China and emerging European countries from a few days ago. The giant in the lead, with more cases but a flatter growth curve, and the EU contenders climbing steadily from further back positions.
There are still enough days to go before the cured cases in Madrid are enough to subtract them from those newly infected and the total result ends up approaching zero, when we can say that we have reached the zenith. However, these first data seem to indicate that Physical distancing measures are paying off. In the near future we will have to see the effect on this other curve of the closure of stores, bars and other measures decreed from March 14.
And an even more important lesson: the success of these measures does not depend on the hardness with which they are written but on the compliance by citizens of the efforts and sacrifices necessary to face this pandemic with exemplary civility.