EUROPE and, particularly Spain, have spent most of 2021 speaking about ‘herd immunity’ as the final breakthrough in the Covid-19 battle, which they set at 70% of the population’s being vaccinated – yet outbreaks continue across the continent, and contagion and mortality rates in the UK appear to be on the rise.
Prestigious science journal The Lancet analysed whether European countries have achieved the much-desired ‘herd immunity’, and Spain was highlighted as an example of its success in keeping Covid rates low.
Incidence of the virus in Spain is currently 49 per 100,000 people, or 0.049% of the population, and The Lancet partly attributes this to high levels of vaccination – at present, 88.7% of residents have had both doses.
Spain’s short, sharp total lockdown was key
Author of the piece, Tony Kirby, says the next few weeks and months will be ‘crucial’ in ascertaining whether strategies followed by the different European countries have turned out to be the right ones for controlling SARS-CoV-2.
He firstly highlighted the ‘harsh lockdown’ enforced in Spain between mid-March and mid-May 2020, thought to be the most restrictive in Europe and on a par with the confinement decreed in the Chinese city of Wuhan where the first Coronavirus cases of this type were detected.
Leaving the house could only be for ‘essential errands’, such as care duties, animal care, shopping for necessary goods, attending important appointments linked to legal and financial affairs, medical appointments or collecting prescriptions, but only one person was allowed out at a time, meaning couples could not go to the supermarket, and as children had no legitimate reason for being out of the house, were literally living between four walls for nearly three months unless they had to accompany a parent because there was no other adult at home to look after them.