CORONAVIRUS

Five Spanish regions report no coronavirus deaths in last nine days

Health Ministry data released on Friday registered just one fatality in a 24-hour period, with a total of 177 confirmed infections during the same time frame

Microbiologists in Madrid's Gregorio Marañón hospital process samples ready for PCR coronavirus testing.
Microbiologists in Madrid's Gregorio Marañón hospital process samples ready for PCR coronavirus testing.PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU / AFP

The Balearic Islands, Cantabria, Murcia and Navarre have not reported a single coronavirus-related death to the Health Ministry for the last nine days, according to the latest data released by the government on Friday evening.

The ministry also reported last night just one Covid-19 fatality over the previous 24 hours, with a total of 51 deaths over the last week. Most of these were registered in the regions of Castilla y León and Asturias, the latter having suffered two new outbreaks of the coronavirus in senior residences. The official death toll since the crisis began now stands at 27,134 victims in Spain.

In terms of new infections, there were 177 cases reported in the last 24 hours, and 141 that correspond to the last week. Madrid, Aragón (which saw an outbreak among fruit-pickers in Huesca) and Catalonia (with cases in a senior home in Tarragona and among agricultural workers in Lleida) are the regions with the highest number of new coronavirus infections.

The ministry also reported on Friday that there were 162 new hospitalizations in the last seven days, just 17 of which correspond to the previous 24 hours

In total, there have been 240,978 coronavirus cases confirmed by PCR testing in Spain since the epidemic began.

The ministry also reported on Friday that there were 162 new hospitalizations in the last seven days, just 17 of which correspond to the previous 24 hours. The total number of coronavirus patients now stands at 124,244. As for intensive care unit (ICU) admissions, 11 regions have had none in the last seven days. The rest reported 14 over the same period, six of which correspond to Thursday. In total, 11,432 patients have been admitted to ICUs during the crisis.

Once again, there were discrepancies on Friday between the data reported by the Health Ministry and that of the World Health Organization (WHO), which included 27,940 coronavirus fatalities in Spain in its report on Friday morning, compared to the 27,128 the government registered on Thursday.

The director of public health and environment at the WHO, Spaniard María Neira, played down the importance of this discrepancy yesterday, attributing it to the corrections that the Spanish system has been making in recent days. She said that the situation is likely to be repeated at least “two more times.” Neira added that “it would be good to point out that these adjustments and updates also show something positive, that the data and the epidemiology are ever more precise, and that the data is being supplied in real time. All countries are making similar adjustments.”

PCR tests

Speaking after a Cabinet meeting, Health Minister Salvador Illa explained that his ministry’s reports only include the cases confirmed by a PCR test, and now that the situation is less pressured, previous notifications that did not meet this requirement are being revised, something that will lead to further alterations to the historical series.

Fernando Simón, the director of the Health Ministry’s Coordination Center for Health Alerts, explained that at this level of the pandemic, the most important data is related to the detection of suspected cases. In the last seven days, he said, there have been 57,372 of these, evenly distributed between hospitals and primary care centers. He added that just 8% of close contacts identified also tested positive.

Simón also referred to another parameter that is now being reported: of the 318 new confirmed infections, 294 of them began to show symptoms in the last seven days. This is important because it shows that people suspected of having coronavirus are getting medical help within a day, and the diagnosis is being confirmed within another day. This is a good sign, he said, because it shows that cases are being detected as early as possible.

Simón added that last week a total of 314,757 PCR tests were carried out, which is 54 per 100,000 inhabitants of Spain, one of the highest rates in the world.

English version by Simon Hunter.

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