SHARE
COPY LINK
Paywall free

COVID-19

Spain’s daily coronavirus death toll drops below 400 for the first time in a month

Spain said 399 people died of COVID-19 over the past 24 hours in what was the lowest daily number of deaths in four weeks, the government said on Monday.

Spain's daily coronavirus death toll drops below 400 for the first time in a month
Healthcare workers wearing face masks observe three-minutes of silence in memory of COVID-19 victims in Valencia. Photo: AFP

The latest figures, which showed a slight drop from Sunday when 410 people died, brought further relief to a country which has suffered the third-highest number of virus deaths in the world after the United States and Italy.

“Today for the first time we've fallen under 400 deaths, although it's only a little lower (than Sunday), these figures give us hope,” said Fernando Simòn, the health ministry's emergencies coordinator.

“These are very encouraging figures,” he said.   


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.

The data also showed cases rising to 200,210 in Spain, which ranks second in the world in terms of infections after outpacing Italy at the start of April.

But it remains well short of the United States which has so far counted more than 750,000 cases and well over 40,000 deaths.   


The graph shows the total number of confirmed cases across Spain.  Data: Ministry of Health.

In recent weeks, Spain has ramped up its testing procedures and is now carrying out around 40,000 per day, Health Minister Salvador Illa has said.    

The number of people who have recovered from the virus has now risen to 80,587.

Spain's health chiefs believe the epidemic peaked on April 2nd when 950 people died over 24 hours, nearly three weeks after the government imposed a strict lockdown, effectively confining its close to 47 million citizens at home in a bid to slow the spread of the virus.   

On Saturday, the government said it would extend the lockdown by another fortnight until May 9th, although from April 27th conditions would be slightly eased to allow children to spend some time outside.

Until now, they have been confined to their homes under one of the tightest lockdowns in Europe.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

COVID-19

Spain rules out EU’s advice on compulsory Covid-19 vaccination 

Spain’s Health Ministry said Thursday there will be no mandatory vaccination in the country following the European Commission’s advice to Member States to “think about it” and Germany’s announcement that it will make vaccines compulsory in February.

Spain rules out EU's advice on compulsory Covid-19 vaccination 
A Spanish man being vaccinated poses with a custom-made T-shirt showing Spain's chief epidimiologist Fernando Simón striking a 'Dirty Harry/Clint Eastwood' pose over the words "What part of keep a two-metre distance don't you understand?' Photo: José Jordan

Spain’s Health Minister Carolina Darias on Thursday told journalists Covid-19 vaccines will continue to be voluntary in Spain given the “very high awareness of the population” with regard to the benefits of vaccination.

This follows the words of European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen on Thursday, urging Member States to “think about mandatory vaccination” as more cases of the Omicron variant are detected across Europe. 

READ ALSO: Is Spain proving facts rather than force can convince the unvaccinated?

“I can understand that countries with low vaccine coverage are contemplating this and that Von der Leyen is considering opening up a debate, but in our country the situation is absolutely different,” Darias said at the press conference following her meeting with Spain’s Interterritorial Health Council.

According to the national health minister,  this was also “the general belief” of regional health leaders of each of Spain’s 17 autonomous communities she had just been in discussion with over Christmas Covid measures. 

READ MORE: Spain rules out new restrictions against Omicron variant

Almost 80 percent of Spain’s total population is fully vaccinated against Covid-19, a figure which is around 10 percent higher if looking at those who are eligible for the vaccine (over 12s). 

It has the highest vaccination rate among Europe’s most populous countries.

Germany announced tough new restrictions on Thursday in a bid to contain its fourth wave of Covid-19 aimed largely at the country’s unvaccinated people, with outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel speaking in favour of compulsory vaccinations, which the German parliament is due to vote on soon.

Austria has also already said it will make Covid-19 vaccines compulsory next February, Belgium is also considering it and Greece on Tuesday said it will make vaccination obligatory for those over 60.

But for Spain, strict Covid-19 vaccination rules have never been on the table, having said from the start that getting the Covid-19 jabs was voluntary. 

There’s also a huge legal implication to imposing such a rule which Spanish courts are unlikely to look on favourably. 

Stricter Covid restrictions and the country’s two states of alarm, the first resulting in a full national lockdown from March to May 2020, have both been deemed unconstitutional by Spain’s Constitutional Court. 

READ ALSO: Could Spain lock down its unvaccinated or make Covid vaccines compulsory?

The Covid-19 health pass to access indoor public spaces was also until recently consistently rejected by regional high courts for breaching fundamental rights, although judges have changed their stance favouring this Covid certificate over old Covid-19 restrictions that affect the whole population.

MAP: Which regions in Spain now require a Covid health pass for daily affairs?

“In Spain what we have to do is to continue vaccinating as we have done until now” Darias added. 

“Spaniards understand that vaccines are not only a right, they are an obligation because we protect others with them”.

What Spanish health authorities are still considering is whether to vaccinate their 5 to 11 year olds after the go-ahead from the European Medicines Agency, with regions such as Madrid claiming they will start vaccinating their young children in December despite there being no official confirmation from Spain’s Vaccine Committee yet.

READ MORE: Will Spain soon vaccinate its children under 12?

Spain’s infection rate continues to rise day by day, jumping 17 points up to 234 cases per 100,000 people on Thursday. There are now also five confirmed cases of the Omicron variant in the country, one through community transmission.

Hospital bed occupancy with Covid patients has also risen slightly nationwide to 3.3 percent, as has ICU Covid occupancy which now stands at 8.4 percent, but the Spanish government insists these figures are “almost three times lower” than during previous waves of the coronavirus pandemic.

SHOW COMMENTS