The Spanish Health Ministry on Thursday reported that 9,419 new coronavirus cases have been detected in Spain, down 1,597 from the day before. The number of new Covid-19-related fatalities, however, rose by five from Wednesday to 182. For now, the data is insufficient to confirm a rising or falling trend in either variables, given that the daily number of infections has been oscillating between 9,000 and 12,000 for the last few weeks in Spain, with daily deaths coming in above 100. That said, the latter data point has been very close to 200 in the last four days.
“The progress in itself is not good,” admitted Fernando Simón, the director of the Health Ministry’s Coordination Center for Health Alerts (CCAES), speaking at a press conference on Thursday evening. He added that “the diagnostic efforts continue to be huge,” with 1,652 PCR tests being carried out in Spain each week for every 100,000 inhabitants.
The spokesperson, who has been the visible face of the ministry during the pandemic, also made reference on Thursday to the reopening of Spain’s classrooms. “Until now, the impact of the return to school has been very limited,” he explained. “This is above all thanks to the entire education community, and in particular I would like to express my gratitude to all students.”
With 3,227 new coronavirus infections in Thursday’s report, the Madrid region continues to be the epicenter of the health crisis in Spain, accounting for nearly 35% of the new cases reported by the ministry, despite accounting for just 14% of the country’s population. That said, both of these figures were an improvement on the day before, falling from 4,810 and 44%, respectively. The number of victims in Madrid also fell according to Thursday’s report, to 41, down by 16 compared to the day before. In Aragón, meanwhile, 51 Covid-19-related deaths were reported. In total, the ministry’s official death toll now stands at 31,973, but this does not include the thousands of people who died in the first wave before their diagnosis could be confirmed via a laboratory test.
The number of intensive care unit (ICU) admissions also fell in Thursday’s report, to 88. The total number of Covid-19 patients in Spain’s hospitals, however, rose slightly from 815 to 826. The most relevant data point currently is the percentage of coronavirus patients in Spain’s ICUs, given that a figure in excess of 35% will be one of the factors that will see a municipality with more than 100,000 inhabitants confined under the central government’s new criteria, and which are due to go into force in the coming days.
For now, the only region that exceeds that percentage is Madrid, with 42.12%, up from 41.7% the day before. The regions that are closest to this rate are La Rioja (32.14%), Aragón (31.82%) and Castilla y León (29,2%), as well as the North African exclave city of Ceuta (29.4%).
Another key indicator, the cumulative incidence of new cases per 100,000 inhabitants over the last two weeks, has fallen in Madrid. On Tuesday the data point set a new record in this second wave of the epidemic, with 785 cases. On Wednesday that number fell to 735, and yesterday it came in at 695. The figure, however, is still well above the national average of 274. The other regions with a poor epidemiological situation are Navarre (681), La Rioja (442), Castilla-La Mancha (408) and Castilla y León (383). The lowest rates are in the Valencia region (103) and the Canary Islands (108).
English version by Simon Hunter.