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Corona crisis: Spain surpasses UK to register most cases in Western Europe

Madrid: Spain's government defended its response to the coronavirus pandemic on Monday after official data showed on Friday the country had overtaken Britain to register the highest total number of cases in Western Europe.

Spain's health ministry on Sunday reported a total a cumulative total of 314,363 cases whilst the UK reported 310,825. During the first half of April, Spain was second only to the United States in total cases before reining in its soaring infection rate through a strict nationwide confinement. However, the virus has rebounded sharply since the state of emergency ended six weeks ago, with average daily infections surging from 132 in June to 1,499 in the first 10 days of August.

On Friday data published by Johns Hopkins University showed
In a letter published in the Lancet last week a group of Spanish health experts called for an independent evaluation of the government's handling of the crisis and highlighted a litany of flaws.
One of the letter's signatories, Ildefonso Hernandez Aguado, a public health professor at Alicante's Miguel Hernandez University, said a lack of qualified tracing staff was letting the disease spread unseen. He also pointed the finger at Spain's highly social culture and longstanding tradition of big family gatherings, which he said would be tough to give up.

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