The Andalucian Anomaly: Why Does the South of Spain Have Four Times Less Than The National Rate of Infection?

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DESPITE thousands of deaths, the southern region has a quarter of the national average infections per inhabitant.

Despite that the community has a total of 1,145 recorded deaths, the effects of the coronavirus in Andalucia have not been as strongly felt as in other areas – as for example, happened in territories such as the Canary Islands, Murcia, and Extremadura.

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Andalucia currently records a cumulative rate of 21 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, four times less than the national rate (88), its 8.4 million inhabitants have encountered less cases of the virus, only recording 11,774 positive cases.

How has Andalucia managed to keep the rate of infection so contained? There are no scientific conclusions that can answer the question, but there are definitely signs. Additionally, regarding the political management of the crisis, the Junta stands out for staying on top of decision although its opposition and the unions blame it for “triumphalism” and for having reacted late to the pandemic.


“We have no certainties on why this is, although there are hypotheses about environmental causes, pollution, and that crowds of people in Andalucia are less likely to happen than in Madrid. The areas with the least contagion when the confinement was decreed were favoured by having less exposure,” reflects Juan Pedro Arrebola, researcher in Preventive Medicine and Public Health at the University of Granada.

Furthermore, there is a trend in the reaction of the virus in different temperatures. “The analysis marks a similar pattern: more damage at lower temperatures, which coincides with studies in the United States, the United Kingdom and China. Temperature is one more factor that favours the rate of contagion, it is not forceful, but it is a trend, “sums up Fernando Belda, a spokesman for the State Meteorological Agency,


The National Centre for Epidemiology is working on a project which studies the rates of expansion of the coronavirus in the different autonomous communities, but its results will take time. Eduardo Martínez, professor of microbiology at the University of Malaga, highlights the “relatively favourable situation” that Andalucia encompassed when confinement was decreed, as it was “in a low season for tourism and had no international sports competitions.

“More studies are needed to move from factor correlation to causal relationship. The outbreaks in Madrid and Barcelona have continued and Andalucia [87,268 km²] has a lower density of population and less collective transport, such as commuter trains, with interactions of half an hour,” highlights Andrea Burón, spokesperson for the Spanish Health Society Public and Health Administration (Sespas). Burón considers that there are no relevant and differentiating measures between one community and another that could have made a difference to reduce the number of infected and deceased. “The magnitude of the measures adopted would not justify the differences, they have been homogeneous,” she points out.





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