Spain’s coronavirus fatalities officially tops 15,000 as daily deaths drop

Spain's coronavirus fatalities officially tops 15,000 as daily deaths drop
Photo: AFP
Spain's daily death toll from the coronavirus fell to 683 on Thursday, after rising for two days, the authorities said.

The country, one of the worst hit by the pandemic, has now recorded 15,238 deaths from COVID-19. The daily toll was down from 757 on Wednesday.

The number of new infections in Spain grew by 5,756 cases to 152,446 on Thursday, up from 146,690 on Wednesday it added.

The number of daily deaths dropped to 683 within 24 hours after two days on the rise. A week ago Spain recorded 950 deaths, the highest daily toll so far, which was then followed by falling numbers for four straight days.

The stats show that 52,165 people have now made a full recovery, which is 4,144 more than yesterday.

The overall number of hospitalizations (blue), admittance into ICU (yellow) deaths (red) and recoveries (green) are shown in the chart below, which reveals that the curve of the number of hospital admittances is flattening. Data: Ministry of Health.


Of the official figures announced, 43,877 confirmed cases are known to be in the Madrid region, where 5,800 have died, around a third of all the deaths nationwide (15,238).

But it has emerged that the true number of fatalities from covid-19 in Spain could be far higher, after health authorities admitted that only those who died after testing positive to coronavirus where included in the official death toll. 

Many regional civil registries have warned that the number of death certificates issued, especially for those who died in elderly residential homes far surpasses the official death toll.

Authorities in the Madrid region acknowledged on Wednesday that the number of deaths in retirement homes could be five times as high as that announced by health officials, who have not included almost 3,500 deaths of people who had not been tested for the virus.



READ MORE:  Why Spain's true number of coronavirus deaths may be much higher than official figures

Coffins lined up at a morgue near Barcelona. Photo: AFP

For several days, the Spanish authorities have indicated that the peak of the pandemic has been reached but asked citizens to continue to strictly respect the confinement regulations.

“The fire started by the pandemic is starting to come under control,” Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez told parliament Thursday.   

“Our priority now is not to turn back, especially not to return to our starting point, not to lower our guard.”

Spain has been subject to a strict lockdown since March 14 which has been reinforced in the past two weeks by the cessation of all non-essential activities until the Easter weekend.

The lower house of parliament was expected later Thursday to extend the confinement to April 25th.

The government has not ruled out further extensions, while stressing that the measures should be eased gradually.

“Within two weeks. I'm convinced I will have to extend the state of the alert again because the pandemic will not be over,” Sanchez warned.   

Debate in the parliament saw the opposition attack the government over its handling of the crisis.

“Spain is the country that has the most people dead per million of population,” Popular Party leader Pablo Casado said.   

“Are you not going to ask for forgiveness?” he asked Sanchez.    

The confinement measures have led to the cancellation of all Easter processions in this Catholic country of nearly 47 million people.   

However police said Thursday nine people had been arrested after filming themselves on a fake procession at Merida in the southwest.


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