CORONAVIRUS

Health Ministry reports 27,856 new coronavirus cases over weekend

The number of victims increased by 195 from Friday, bringing the official Covid-19 death toll in Spain to 33,124

A healthcare worker holds a sign reading “I signed 19 contracts in one year” at a protest in Puerta del Sol in Madrid on Spain’s National Day, October 12.
A healthcare worker holds a sign reading “I signed 19 contracts in one year” at a protest in Puerta del Sol in Madrid on Spain’s National Day, October 12.GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP

The latest coronavirus figures for Spain, released on Monday evening by the central Health Ministry, show that the Madrid and Navarre regions, as well as the North African city of Melilla, currently exceed the key indicator of 500 cumulative coronavirus cases per 100,000 inhabitants over 14 days. The northern territory registered 756 in Monday’s report, while the central area came in at 502. The exclave city, meanwhile, was at 505.

The 14-day cumulative number of coronavirus cases per 100,000 inhabitants for Spain as a whole is currently 268.32, five points up on Friday’s figure (no data is currently released over the weekend), and 10 points up on a week ago. This indicates that the overall situation in the country is worsening, and that in a few weeks the trend will affect the number of hospitalizations and deaths. For now, however, the impact is lesser than during the first wave, given that there are more controls and many of those being infected now are young people, who make better recoveries.

In terms of victims, Monday’s report shows that there were 899 Covid-19-related deaths in the last seven days. The official death toll reported on Monday was 33,124, an increase of 195 compared to Friday. This total does not, however, include the thousands of undiagnosed fatalities from the first wave of the epidemic in Spain. According to data from civil registries, there have been 53,000 excess deaths in the country between March and September.

The number of new infections in Monday’s report was toward the lower end of the range seen on this day in recent weeks: from Friday to Sunday, the figure came in at 27,856, which is 9,000 per day. Last Monday the same figure came in at 23,480. In total, there have been 888,968 confirmed coronavirus infections in Spain since the start of the pandemic.

Monday marked the first time that the Madrid region has supplied data since the central government imposed a state of alarm on Friday, confining residents of nine cities, including the Spanish capital, among other social restrictions. The numbers from Monday’s report will not, however, reflect these new measures given that infections usually take at least a week to manifest, and then there is a delay of one to two weeks before hospitalization, admission to an intensive care unit (ICU) and, in the worst cases, death from Covid-19. On Friday, the 14-day cumulative number of coronavirus cases per 100,000 inhabitants in Madrid was 540. The data will be closely monitored this week to see if the falls continue, given that on Mondays the figures are often under-reported as the notification systems do not work as well on weekends.

The positivity rate – i.e. the percentage of PCR tests that are confirming coronavirus infections – is currently at 11.7% in Navarre, and 18% in Madrid. The average for Spain is currently at 10.4%, which is double the 5% that the World Health Organization (WHO) considers to be acceptable, and more than the 10% limit set by the Spanish Health Ministry.

According to Monday’s data, Navarre is now nearing the limit of the third and final parameter established by the central government for a state of alarm to be implemented there: the percentage of ICU beds occupied by Covid-19 patients exceeds 35%. The figure is currently 24.8%, when last week it was 18.6%. Madrid is currently at 38.2%, down from 41.5% seven days ago. Across Spain, there are 1,546 coronavirus patients admitted in ICUs, with a total of 14,233 people having required such emergency care since the crisis began.

English version by Simon Hunter.

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