As Spain saw new COVID-19 cases inch up for the second day in a row on Wednesday, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) said Spain’s economy is the world’s most susceptible to damage from a second wave of the pandemic.
On Tuesday, Spanish doctors diagnosed 167 COVID-19 cases, according to the Ministry of Health data published Wednesday. On Monday 84 cases were detected, and on Sunday the number hit a record low of 48 cases.
The number of new contagions still remains a fraction of what it was at its peak of nearly 10,000 per day in late March.
So far, a total of 242,280 people have been confirmed to have contracted the virus in Spain. Of this group, 27,136 people have died, according to official statistics which have not been effectively updated for weeks.
Besides the loss of life and costs to the healthcare system, new economic projections released by the OECD give Spain even more reason to worry about a second outbreak.
The organization suggests that Spain would be the most economically affected economy in the world if a second coronavirus wave were to occur. It estimates that country’s GDP would plummet by 14.4%.
According to the report, fall in domestic demand due to job destruction and paralyzed activity would be a key driver of the historic slump. It also predicts that tourism losses this year will weigh heavily on the country’s economy.
Current projections by the Bank of Spain suggest the country’s GDP will drop this year by a minimum of 9%.
And while the coronavirus’s national spread has seemingly come under control for now, once Spain opens its borders to international travel on July 1, containing the pandemic could become more complicated.
Globally, the virus is spreading more rapidly now than earlier this spring. Last Sunday saw the confirmation of over 136,000 COVID-19 cases, the highest daily number since the pandemic began.
Meanwhile, Spain’s government has also put into law the post-lockdown scenario. To help prevent a second wave, face masks, hygiene measures and physical distance will remain mandatory until an effective treatment or vaccine is discovered.