Benidorm mayor attacks COVID-19 ‘extreme risk’ branding for Costa Blanca resort as first Delta Plus cases appear in Valencia area of Spain

The first two cases of the coronavirus ‘Delta Plus/AY 4.2’ variant have been detected in the Valencian Community with Benidorm placed in an ‘extreme’ risk category for new COVID-19 infections.

The resort’s mayor, Toni Perez, has slammed the way infection rates are being worked out as they don’t take account of increased tourist population.

It’s not been declared where the two cases of the new variant have appeared in the Valencian Community.

It’s said to be up to 15% more contagious than the original Delta strain and experts believe it is fuelling COVID-19 infection rises in parts of Spain due to British tourists importing it.

Benidorm has witnessed a significant recent rise in UK arrivals due to the relaxation of COVID testing for people returning home.

The Centre for Coordination of Health Alerts and Emergencies says a combination of the ‘Delta Plus’ variant and increased UK tourism has caused Benidorm to be branded as ‘extreme risk’ for coronavirus infections.

The cumulative infection rate for Benidorm is now 254 cases per 100,000 people, which is six times higher than the national average.

Benidorm mayor, Toni Perez, has attacked the way the figures are being presented and described them as ‘misleading’.

Toni Perez said: “The contagion rate is worked out on a registered population of around 75,000, while we have around 180,000 in the area at the moment, which means the figures do not reflect reality.”

“There are no incidents I’ve heard of concerning tourist infections at hotels and apartments and there is no reason to be alarmed as painstaking work has been carried out to prevent the spread of the virus,” he added.

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