The number of daily coronavirus deaths registered in Spain fell to 410 on Sunday, according to the latest figures supplied by the Health Ministry. That is the lowest figure seen since March 22, when there were 394.
Today’s figure was a significant fall from Saturday, which saw 565 confirmed fatalities, and with a reduction of 155, represents the biggest drop in daily deaths since the crisis began.
However, the data should be viewed with some caution, given that there has been regular underreporting of coronavirus statistics from Spain’s 17 regions at weekends and on public holidays.
Health official Fernando Simón insisted that today’s numbers were “a cause for hope”
There have been a total of 20,453 Covid-19-related fatalities since the pandemic hit Spain, with confirmed infections reaching 195,944. Some 77,357 patients have recovered from the illness and have been discharged from hospital.
After reaching a peak of 950 on April 2, the number of daily coronavirus-related deaths began a slow descent. The figures this week, however, had plateaued, with 585 on Friday, 551 on Thursday, 523 on Wednesday and 567 on Tuesday.
There are also variations in the data this week given that the Health Ministry is updating the historical series, after the government issued an order to the 17 regions in a bid to homogenize the different reporting of the data.
Speaking at the daily press conference on the coronavirus crisis, Fernando Simón, the director of the Health Ministry’s Coordination Center for Health Alerts, said on Sunday that there had been “distorsions over the last few days in the figures, which are being resolved by the refinement of the delivery of information by the regions and corrections.”
Simón explained that the number of new infections – 4,218 – had increased by 2.2% from yesterday’s figure, down from the 3% or so seen in recent days. The Health Ministry has attributed the relatively high number of new infections being detected this week to an increase in the amount of testing that is being carried out.
A further 2,526 people have tested positive with serological tests, which detect coronavirus antibodies in people’s systems. These indicate that the person had the disease at some time in the past. The Health Ministry is tracking these figures separately, so as to not combine them with the curve of cases who were infected days or weeks ago.
Today’s number of daily fatalities, Simón added, “are a cause for hope.” He also pointed to a fall in the number of hospitalizations and admissions into intensive care units (ICUs), “with rises of just above 1%” in both cases, he reported. “The transmission of the disease has been significantly reduced.”
Spain has been on lockdown since March 14, when a state of alarm was implemented by the Spanish government in a bid to halt the spread of the coronavirus. Last night Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced that he would be seeking another extension to the state of alarm, until May 9. He also said that confinement measures would be relaxed for children – who have been confined to their homes for more than five weeks now – from April 27 onward.
When Sunday’s figures were released, Sánchez was holding his weekly video conference call with Spain’s regional leaders, with whom he was due to discuss the relaxation of confinement. The prime minister said during his televised address last night that the progressive lifting of isolation measures is likely to be different for each region, according to the level of infections in each area.
The premier of Andalusia, Juan Manuel Moreno, has already announced that he will call for his region to be one of the first to relax the measures in place, given that, along with neighboring Murcia, it has the lowest level of infections per 100,000 inhabitants.
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English version by Simon Hunter.