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What are the latest Covid-19 death rates and hospital numbers in Spain?

With thousands of new Covid-19 cases registered every day and hospital rates on the rise, we break down the latest numbers and trends to explain the situation in Spain.

What are the latest Covid-19 death rates and hospital numbers in Spain?
Photos: AFP

Since Spain came out of the strictest lockdown in Europe, the nation has struggled to stem the increasingly rapid spread of Covid-19 and is now considered to be firmly in the grip of the “second wave” with Madrid at the epicentre.

This has led to pressure on hospitals in some especially hard-hit areas.

With things changing quickly from day to day and from region to region, it can be hard to grasp what the status really is in Spain – are we back where we were before lockdown in March?

In this article we have picked some of the key numbers and put them into context to give you a better understanding of how the virus is progressing across Spain.

Here is a look at the latest key numbers:

312 cases per 100,000 inhabitants is the average across Spain. Unfortunately, Spain tops the leader board in Europe for the accumulated incidence data of the number of cases detected for every 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days.

The ECDC sets the bar for “high level” as anything over 60 cases per 100,000 and Spain’s average far exceeds that with 312 cases detected per 100,000 people across the whole territory.

To put this in context Spain’s is far above the next highest country France which has recorded 197.8 new cases per 100,000 and more than  four times high than the UK (76 per 100,000).

746.2 – Madrid continues to have the highest 14-day cumulative incidence of Covid-19, with 746.2 cases per 100,000 inhabitants and in the worst hit districts this has reached over 1,000 cases per 100,000 leading 37 zones to be placed under partial confinement.

10,799 – the number of new Covid-19 cases recorded on Tuesday, September 22nd with  3,125 occuring in the previous 24 hours.

However, this figure cannot be compared to the number of infections during the first wave, given that Spain is now carrying out widespread testing and detecting those who have only minor symptoms or are asymptomatic whereas testing for the most part was only carried out during the peak of the first wave on those whose symptoms were serious enough for them to be admitted into hospital.  

682,267 – this is the number of positive cases that have been recorded in Spain since the start of the pandemic.

Week by week numbers are worth comparing with 64,272 in the week ending September 22nd compared to 40,427 cases for the week ending 24th August, a month earlier.

 

Hospitalizations:

2,357 – this is the number of coronavirus patients admitted into hospital in the last week alone according to Tuesday’s data, with 159 requiring intensive care treatment. Compare this to a month earlier on August 24th when 1,294 coronavirus patients were hospitalized across Spain and 87 were in ICU.

9.6 – the percentage of hospital beds across Spain that are now occupied by coronavirus patients with 16.8 percent of all intensive care beds taken up to treat Covid-19 cases. However, this figure varies vastly between the regions:   La Rioja has the highest rate at 56.7percent , followed by Madrid (36.3 percent ) and Aragón (32.5 percent ). Meanwhile at the lowest end of the scale are Galicia (4.48 percent ), Asturias (4.53 percent ), Extremadura (8.79 percent ) and the Canary Islands (9.15 percent ).

Deaths

30.904 – the total number of officially confirmed deaths from coronavirus in Spain since the start of the pandemic. However, this figure only includes those cases which tested positive in tests and the true number is thought to be closer to 50,000.

241 – According to data released on Tuesday by Spain’s health ministry, this is the number of deaths reported in the last 24 hours.

468 – The number of deaths officially recorded over the last week, although there is often a delay in the numbers reported from the regions to the Health Ministry.  Compare this to the 96 deaths recorded across Spain in the seven days previous to the August 24th.

The above chart shows the number of coronavirus deaths officially recorded in Spain since the start of the pandemic.

These four charts below effectively show the surge in the number of cases diagnosed, hospitalizations and those requiring ICU treatment, and deaths since the end of lockdown in Spain  week by week.

 

Testing


 

8,582,722 – the number of PCR diagnostic tests carried out in Spain since the start of the pandemic. Spain has increased its testing ability week by week and up until the week ending September 17 it carried out more that 8.5 million PCR tests (a rate of 182.22 per 100,000 inhabitants).

19.7 – this is the percentage of PCR carried out in the Madrid region that brought a positive result. Spain’s average is 11.8 percent but according to the criteria published by WHO in May, a positive rate of less than 5percent is one indicator that the epidemic is under control in a country.

Schools

14,000 students are in quarantine in Madrid alone after testing positive to Covid-19. Those positive results have caused the closure of 832 classrooms across the capital but only one school has been entirely shut down.

 

To put this is context this represents 1.4 percent of all the classes in the Madrid region and affects 13,856 school children in total (1.1per cent of the total school age children in Madrid) according to data provided by Antonio Zapatero, Madrid’s deputy health chief on Wednesday.

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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.

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