Health chiefs say a new COVID-19 wave is hitting Costa Blanca and Valencia areas of Spain

THE Valencian Community is at the start of a sixth wave of the COVID pandemic according to a regional health ministry report.

Rising COVID cases were used to support the regional government’s argument for introducing a COVID passport to access certain indoor areas, which starts this Friday evening at midnight.

The report stated that ‘the upward trend and infection growth indicated in all probability that we are at the beginning of a new epidemic wave’.

A government spokesman said: “The end of restrictions after October 9 has facilitated an increase in mobility and spread of the virus, which is why it is necessary to require a COVID passport to try minimise new mass infections as much as possible.”

As of Thursday, the cumulative incidence of infections in the Community stands at 224 cases per 100,000 people over 14 days, and 134 cases at 7 days.

The health report dated November 22 talked of accumulated cases of 133.15 per 100,000 residents over 14 days.

That compared to 42.89 cases per 100,000 on October 4.

The study noted that that case numbers ‘would rise’ but hospitalisations are comparatively low due to the vaccination programme.

The report predated the discovery of the more transmissible Omicron variant with no cases reported yet in the Valencian Community.

1,522 new COVID cases and 6 deaths were reported on Thursday with 434 hospitalisations including 73 in ICUs.

There were just under 5,000 people admitted to hospital with COVID in late January.

Six outbreaks of ten or more cases were all reported in schools yesterday, which backs up studies showing unvaccinated children as the main source of new infections.

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