CORONAVIRUS

Spain reports 52 weekly coronavirus fatalities and estimates total toll at 28,000

According to health authorities, community transmission of the virus continues to fall, while ICU admissions are at their lowest number in weeks

Fernando Simón, the director of the Health Ministry’s Coordination Center for Health Alerts.
Fernando Simón, the director of the Health Ministry’s Coordination Center for Health Alerts.Jose Maria Cuadrado Jimenez / EFE

The Spanish Health Ministry reported on Thursday that 52 coronavirus deaths had been recorded in the last seven days. This is up from Wednesday, when 30 weekly fatalities were recorded, and from Tuesday’s figure of 25. Of the 52 weekly deaths, 25 were reported by the Madrid region. Ten of Spain’s 17 regions, however, recorded no deaths in this period.

The Health Ministry has still not updated the total death toll, which has remained at 27,136 for the last 11 days. Health authorities are waiting for the regions to supply their figures according to the new reporting method, whereby fatalities are ordered by the date of death, not the date of notification. As a result, around 2,000 deaths are in a kind of limbo until they are assigned to a specific day.

Three weeks ago the number of patients in the ICU was 631, now it is 312
Fernando Simón, director of the Health Ministry’s Coordination Center for Health Alerts

Fernando Simón, the director of the Health Ministry’s Coordination Center for Health Alerts, estimated Thursday that the total number of coronavirus victims was “around 28,000,” and added that the Health Ministry would provide “more reliable and secure data” on Friday.

According to Simón, the number of coronavirus patients in intensive care units (ICU) is continuing to fall, which indicates that there is a lower risk of patients dying from the disease. “Three weeks ago the number of [patients] in the ICU was 631, last week it was 431, a few days ago 352 and now 312,” he explained at a government press conference.

According to the latest figures, the number of new coronavirus cases confirmed by PCR tests was 143, a slight rise on Wednesday’s figure of 141. In the past seven days, 141 people have begun experiencing coronavirus symptoms. The Madrid region recorded the highest number of cases in both these scenarios. Five regions, however, have not registered a new coronavirus infection in this period. Simón explained that the difference between the number of new cases and the number of patients with reported symptoms was gradually leveling out “because we have old cases that are diagnosed later.”

According to Simón, community transmission of the virus is also falling. “The number of close contacts that we have detected from each contagion has been three. Of these, only 5% have developed the disease. In 83 cases, we know that the origin is a previous case,” he said. A total of 245,268 people have contracted Covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic.

Basque Country and Cantabria lift state of alarm

The northern regions of the Basque Country and Cantabria entered “the new normality” on Friday after lifting the state of alarm imposed in mid-March by central authorities in a bid to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

The regional governments in the Basque Country and Cantabria also agreed to allow movement between the two regions from Friday. Both areas entered Phase 3 of the government’s coronavirus deescalation plan on June 8. Under this stage, regions have the power to decide how long this last phase should last before entering “the new normality.” Galicia was the first region of Spain to exit the state of alarm. On Thursday, Catalan premier Quim Torra also announced the region would enter “the new normality” on Friday, before the official end of the state of alarm, which will formally expire across Spain on June 21.

English version by Melissa Kitson.

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