CORONAVIRUS

Spain reports more than 7,000 coronavirus cases, overtaking the US in new infections

Madrid continues to register the highest number of positives, while the situation is improving in regions such as Aragón and Catalonia

A health worker carries out a PCR test in Sant Llàtzer in Terrassa (Barcelona).
A health worker carries out a PCR test in Sant Llàtzer in Terrassa (Barcelona).CRISTÓBAL CASTRO

The curve of new coronavirus cases in Spain, which has been moving upward for at least two weeks, added 7,117 new positives on Tuesday, including 2,415 detected in the previous 24 hours. That’s according to the latest data supplied by the central Health Ministry last night. The rise is in step with that seen in previous days, with the incidence rates most used to compare the situation with other countries continuing to go up.

One of these data points is the number of positives per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days, which has now reached 173 in Spain, compared to 86 last week. According to estimates by The New York Times, based on data from Johns Hopkins University, Spain has now overtaken the United States in terms of the daily number of positive cases per million inhabitants, according to the average from the last week.

The percentage of Spanish hospital beds occupied by Covid-19 patients has risen to 5.3%

Once again, Madrid is the region that accounts for the most cases, with 1,927 positives reported on Tuesday. Proportionally, however, its weighting has fallen somewhat as infections rise in other regions where the spread of the virus is gaining pace. Madrid previously accounted for one in three cases but on Tuesday the ratio was one in four.

The most notable example of this is the Balearic Islands, which has a population of just 1.2 million inhabitants but saw 909 new infections in a day, according to the latest ministry report. The archipelago has seen significant rises in the incidence of the virus over the last week, with a trend that is also visible in regions such as Valencia, with 770 new cases among its 4.97 million inhabitants; Murcia, with 159 new cases among its 1.5 million inhabitants; and to a lesser extent Andalusia, with 526 cases among its 8.4 million inhabitants.

According to the data published by the ministry, the situation is improving in regions where, unlike those previously mentioned, the epidemiological situation was much more complicated not so long ago. The case where this is clearest is Aragón, which, with 161 new infections reported on Tuesday, has seen the smallest rise in more than a month. In Catalonia, meanwhile, another region that has been hard hit since the deescalation of confinement measures ended, the number of new infections reported yesterday was 785 – that was the first time in a week the figure had come in under a thousand. The Basque Country, for its part, reported 250 new cases, which is around half of those reported in recent days.

The Balearic Islands reported 909 new coronavirus cases in just a day

For the second day running, the daily report from the ministry also included a slight fall in the number of new cases where symptoms began in the last 14 days. Several more days will be needed, however, before it can be determined whether this figure, which accounts for the most recent cases, is on a downward trend and has not fallen as the result of a delay in notifications from the regions.

These delays have affected the number of Covid-19 fatalities in recent weeks. On Tuesday, 52 new victims were reported, bringing the official total of coronavirus deaths in Spain to 28,924. In the last week, the ministry has reported 116 new fatalities.

The total number of patients hospitalized due to the virus, a new data point supplied by the ministry since last Thursday, has risen to 5,688 in all of Spain, of whom 677 are in intensive care units (ICUs). Over the previous 24 hours, there were 903 admissions and 699 discharges.

The trend here is also on the rise, given that the number of hospitalizations went up by 204 in a day, a rise of close to 4%. Patients in the ICU went up by 21 people, a rise of 3.2%. The percentage of Spanish hospital beds occupied by Covid-19 patients has risen to 5.3%, two percentage points up on Monday’s figure.

English version by Simon Hunter.

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