CORONAVIRUS

New coronavirus cases in Spain begin to stabilize, but hospitalizations are rising

The Health Ministry reported more than 5,000 new infections on Tuesday, a third of them detected in the Madrid region

A woman is given a PCR test in Usera, Madrid.
A woman is given a PCR test in Usera, Madrid.Fernando Alvarado / EFE

The Spanish Health Ministry on Tuesday reported 5,114 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of confirmed infections detected in the country since the pandemic began to 364,196. Two of every five new positives were diagnosed in the previous 24 hours, while the remainder correspond to the results of tests carried out on previous days and that were reported to the ministry after the daily reporting window had closed.

The data shows a certain stabilization of new infections reported by the ministry, after an average of 5,000 cases were registered between August 10 and 17. More time is needed, however, before a trend can be identified. What is clear is that there has been a rise in hospitalizations and intensive care unit admissions over the past week, which is the time frame used by the ministry for this variable. The former grew 8% in a single day, moving from 1,016 on Monday to 1,096 on Tuesday. The latter, meanwhile, went from 56 to 65 in 24 hours.

The confirmed death toll in Spain – i.e. the number of people who have died after a positive PCR test was carried out – now stands at 28,670, with 63 new victims reported in the last seven days

The rise in hospital admissions for Covid-19 cases was predictable given the large rise in cases detected in the last two weeks, as people with the coronavirus usually take between five and 12 days after detection before they develop serious symptoms that require hospital treatment.

The confirmed death toll in Spain – i.e. the number of people who have died after a positive PCR test was carried out – now stands at 28,670, with 63 new victims reported in the last seven days on Tuesday by the Health Ministry. The true human cost of the pandemic in Spain is likely much higher, however, with estimations made by the Carlos III health institute and based on excess mortality surveys putting the figure closer to 44,000 people.

The region with the most new cases is Madrid, with nearly a third of the total. The ministry reported that 704 of the 2,128 new cases detected in 24 hours came from the area, with 1,619 of the 5,114 cases registered over previous days.

In terms of total new cases, Castilla y León comes next, with 588, followed by Andalusia (451), Aragón (422), Valencia (389), the Basque Country (384) and Catalonia (276). These figures, however, do not provide a wholly accurate picture of the progress of the epidemic in Spain, given that some regions tend to report their data with several days of delay.

New infections detected in people whose symptoms began in the last 14 days – one of the more valued indicators by the experts when it comes to evaluating the progress of new outbreaks – fell slightly on Tuesday from 18,072 to 17,833.

The figures offered by the Health Ministry on Tuesday were, as is usually the case, lower than those released by the regions themselves, given that the ministry only includes cases in its data that have been revised and confirmed.

English version by Simon Hunter.

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