40 cases of the Omicron COVID-19 variant have been confirmed in Spain, according to Health Minister, Carolina Darias.
Speaking in Congress this Thursday, she said that ‘there could be some community transmission’ of Omicron as ‘around half of the cases were not linked to international travel’.
According to Health Ministry and regional statistics, Darias told parliamentarians that Omicron’s current presence in Spain is ‘very low’, probably accounting for 1% of COVID cases ‘at the moment’.
“The period of high mobility that we face over Christmas together with the presence of Omicron makes it difficult to predict the number of coronavirus case rises,” said Darias.
“We have every indication that infection increases will continue until after the holidays in relation to the new variant,” she added.
Darias stressed that the combination of vaccines, mask wearing, and social distancing continue to be the ‘key to success’ over Christmas.
The minister attributed Spain’s high vaccination numbers for keeping COVID case rises down compared to other waves during the pandemic.
“Hospital admissions and ICU occupancy totals are three times less than before coupled with a death rate that is ten times lower,” Darias commented.