The number of daily coronavirus deaths registered in Spain was 440 on Thursday, according to the latest figures supplied by the Health Ministry. This is a slight rise from yesterday’s figure of 435.
There has also been a small increase in the number of new cases. In the past 24 hours, there were 4,635 registered infections, compared to 4,211 on Wednesday. This is a rise of 2% of the total, which is in keeping with the trend over the past five days.
“The rate of infections is holding at 2%, when a month ago it was 35%,” explained Health Minister Salvador Illa on Thursday.
There have been a total of 22,157 official Covid-19-related fatalities since the pandemic hit Spain, with confirmed infections now reaching 213,024. Some 89,000 patients have recovered from the illness and have been discharged from hospital. This represents around 42% of all cases.
Last week, the number of daily deaths in Spain oscillated between 500 and 600. This trend changed on Sunday, when 399 fatalities were recorded, the lowest figure seen since March 22. Although the figure may have been influenced by the under-rerporting of of coronavirus statistics typically seen at weekends, the trend has remained stable. This week, there were 430 coronavirus deaths on Monday, 430 on Tuesday and 435 on Wednesday.
The total number of healthcare workers who have contracted the virus, however, has risen to 34,355, or 16% of total infections.
Madrid confirms more than 6,000 extra fatalities
At least 13,911 people have died in hospitals and senior and social service residences after testing positive for the coronavirus or presenting symptoms of the disease, according to figures supplied by the Madrid regional government. This figure is 6,334 higher than the official death toll of 7,577 reported to the central government on Wednesday. The disparity is due to the fact that the Spanish Health Ministry only includes victims who have tested positive for Covid-19 in the official count.
According to documents from the Madrid government, in addition to the 7,577 hospital deaths, 5,558 people died in residences, 761 at home and 15 in other locations.
Spanish insurance company Mapfre has estimated that the Spanish economy will contract by up to 10.7% this year due to the coronavirus crisis. This would lead to unemployment rates of between 18% and 23.4%, according to Mapfre’s calculations.
Meanwhile, new figures released on Thursday by the National Statistics Institute (INE) show that overnight hotel stays in March fell 61.1% compared to figures from the same period in 2019. This record fall is attributed to the pandemic, which has led to tough travel restrictions.
Also on Thursday, the president of the Spanish Trade Confederation (CEC), Pedro Campo, warned that between 20% and 30% of small businesses will close by summer if they do not receive aid from the government.
European Commission proposes €1.6 trillion recovery fund
The European Commission will on Thursday propose a €1.6-trillion recovery fund to help address the economic fallout of the coronavirus crisis. Representatives from the European Union will meet today via videoconference to discuss the plan. According to EU sources, Brussels is confident that the recovery plan will be approved, despite objections from northern European countries such as The Netherlands. The plan is based on an unprecedented increase of the current spending ceiling of the EU budget.
Government sets price on hand sanitizer
The Health Ministry has set a maximum price of hand sanitizer at €0.021 a milliliter. Gels and hydroalcoholic solutions will be sold to the public at this price from Friday, when the order comes into effect. The government has also set the price of disposable surgical face masks at €0.96.
With reporting by Juan José Mateo, Bernardo De Miguel and Silvia Ayuso.
English version by Melissa Kitson.