OVIEDO, Spain 

Spain registered another 22,013 new coronavirus infections between Friday and Monday, up slightly from the weekend before.

“The infection rate is continuing to increase, something that should worry all of us,” said Spanish Secretary of State Health Silvia Calzon in a news conference on Monday.

The number of infections detected this weekend is up 704 compared to a week ago. While still higher, it suggests the rate of acceleration has slowed compared to last week, when the increase was 3,628 from the weekend prior.

While some regions continue to see new infections fall, places like Catalonia, the Balearic Islands, Extremadura and Madrid all saw marked jumps in contagion over the weekend.

At the national level, Spain reported 334 more deaths – the lowest weekend figure in two months.

Faced with the worrisome new coronavirus variant in the UK, Spain has been barring people coming in from the UK who are not legal residents in Spain or Spanish citizens from Monday.

Calzon said Spain is also reinforcing its efforts to sequence virus genomes to see if the mutation has already entered into Spain. For the moment, it hasn’t been confirmed on the Iberian Peninsula outside of Gibraltar.

As Europe announced the approval of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine Monday, Spain also presented more details about its vaccination campaign, which will begin on Sunday for nursing home residents.

“It doesn’t seem probable that the mutation will affect the efficacy of the vaccine, but we’ll need some days to study it,” said Maria Jesus Lamas, Director of the Spanish Agency of Medicine (AEMPS) in a news conference on Monday.

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