Thursday, September 17, 2020

Spain's Inequality and the Pandemic

 Spain has the highest number of cases in Western Europe, with more than 610,000, while more than 30,000 have died.

Less well-off communities like El Raval are being hit harder, with the gap between poorer and richer areas at the heart of a tense debate in Spain over how to curb the increase in cases, as some cities envisage targeted lockdowns that would focus on the more affected - and therefore often poorer - areas.

At the peak of the pandemic, Barcelona’s district with the lowest income had 2.5 times more cases than the richest while across the Catalonia region the mortality rate was five times higher among the poorest, two studies showed.

In Madrid, the infection rate in a northern district is almost six times lower than in a southern district with a lower average income and a higher migrant population.

Pedro Gullon, a Spanish Epidemiology Society board member, said the inequality gap, fuelled by housing and labour factors, was not the only reason behind Spain’s high infection rate, but the increase in cases had made those disparities more visible.

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