The incidence of the coronavirus in Spain, which has been rising non-stop for the last two weeks, has eased off slightly. According to the latest government figures, which were released on Thursday evening by the Health Ministry, 10,653 new infections were detected, bringing the official count since the pandemic began to more than 700,000. But the rate of new infections over the last 14 days has fallen from 287.7 per 100,000 inhabitants on Tuesday to 283.3 on Thursday. This fall may not be a trend, given that rises and falls are common. The data from the coming days will be necessary to determine the direction in which the curve is moving.
Much of the fall in infections is due to the data reported from Madrid, which during this second wave of the coronavirus has once again become the epicenter of the health crisis in Spain and has seen accelerated growth in infections over recent weeks. While it has seen two days of moderation in its figures, it continues to be the worst-hit area of Spain, with 746.2 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. It is followed by the northern regions of Navarre, with 658.8, La Rioja, with 466.9 and Castilla-La Mancha, with 416.8.
The rate of new infections over the last 14 days has fallen from 287.7 per 100,000 inhabitants on Tuesday to 283.3 on Thursday
Speaking to reporters on Thursday evening, the secretary of state for health, Silvia Calzón, pointed out that regions that have previously seen high rates of infection have managed to lower them, and vice versa. The best example of this is the Basque Country, which has been bringing down its figures for two weeks marking what appears to be a clear trend.
According to Thursday’s ministry report, 9.5% of Spain’s hospital beds are currently occupied by Covid-19 patients, as are 17% of intensive care unit (ICU) beds. This percentage has not been calculated based on the normal total of beds, but rather all of those that have been made available to deal with the health crisis, the use of which means changes in the normal working of the country’s hospitals. In Madrid, for example, the ministry has cited ICU occupation rates at 38.93%, but a network of doctors from 62 of the region’s hospitals claim that the figure for regular ICU beds is actually at 95%. The knock-on effect of this is that many routine operations cannot be carried out.
Thursday’s report added 84 new Covid-19 victims to the official death toll. Over the last two weeks, the average number of deaths has come in at more than 100 a day, bringing the total to 31,118 since the start of the crisis. However, the real figure is likely to be much higher, given that during the first wave many people died without having been diagnosed.
English version by Simon Hunter.