CORONAVIRUS

Coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and ICU admissions in Spain at lowest level since March

The number of fatalities rose slightly on yesterday to 70, after three days around the 50-mark

Joggers on the Paseo de la Castellana, in Madrid, on Sunday.
Joggers on the Paseo de la Castellana, in Madrid, on Sunday.Ballesteros / EFE

The daily data covering the coronavirus epidemic in Spain continued in the same direction on Sunday, according to the latest figures supplied by the Health Ministry. Once again, the majority of indicators were at low levels, while there were continuing problems with the notification of the figures from the Catalonia region.

New infections came in at 246, hospitalizations at 86, and new intensive care unit (ICU) admissions were at three – all of which were the lowest seen since March, at the outset of the crisis.

That said, figures reported on Sundays and Mondays should always be regarded with some caution, given that there has tended to be underreporting due to lower staffing levels at weekends in hospitals. What’s more, data from Catalonia is yet to be included by the Health Ministry in the figures for hospitalizations and ICU admissions.

Spain has now seen fewer than 100 fatalities related to Covid-19 for the last eight days

The figures reported today by the ministry, which cover Saturday, also registered a slight increase in the number of daily coronavirus-related deaths, which rose to 70 after three days at around the 50-mark.

But this variation does not appear to indicate a change in the trend, but rather the opposite, given that Spain has now seen fewer than 100 fatalities related to Covid-19 for the last eight days. Since the crisis began, Spain has registered 28,752 official coronavirus-related deaths, according to the figures from the Health Ministry.

The majority of the fatalities seen in the last 24 hours were in the two regions that have been worst hit by the epidemic: Madrid, with 21, and Catalonia, with 31. In the case of the northeastern region, the Health Ministry is still yet to include new deaths that have been confirmed by the more reliable PCR testing.

Catalonia reported to the Health Ministry on Friday that it had registered an extra 635 deaths that had not been included in the historical series. And on Sunday, it emerged that a further 360 had been detected. It is this latter number that is yet to be included in the Health Ministry data.

For the second time in four days, the Health Ministry has not included the data from Catalonia with regard to new hospitalizations and ICU admissions

The region has attributed this delay to figures supplied by the Barcelona Public Health Agency (ASPB), an organism that formally reports to the Catalan government but which in practice is majority controlled by Barcelona City Hall. The heads of the ASPB are as yet to offer their version of events regarding this disparity in the numbers.

In the coming days, the Health Ministry is likely to incorporate this missing data in its historical series.

For the second time in four days, the Health Ministry has not included the data from Catalonia with regard to new hospitalizations and ICU admissions. A double asterix on the table supplied by the ministry indicates that this is due to the existence of “data that has not been updated about patients that have needed hospitalization and admission to the ICU,” and that the “series is pending updating.”

The 246 new cases reported today by the Health Ministry take the number of total infections registered since the start of the crisis to 235,772. Of the 86 hospitalizations, the majority were seen in the Madrid region: 60.

Fernando Simón, the director of the Health Ministry’s Coordination Center for Health Alerts, said on Thursday that Spain was now entering a new stage in which the data reported would be consistently in relatively low numbers. This means that variations in the figures are less and less meaningful, given that they will be more affected by small oscillations. This is one of the reasons that Simón will no longer be offering a daily press conference on the data, as his department had been doing up until now.

English version by Simon Hunter.

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