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CANARY ISLANDS

UPDATE: What are the latest Covid-19 infection rates in Spain?

Covid-19 infections remain high in Spain with 10,829 new cases registered in the last 24 hours, however the cumulative incidence rate is in steady decline.

UPDATE: What are the latest Covid-19 infection rates in Spain?
Image: Tumisu/Pixabay

The good news is that the average number of cases per 100,000 inhabitants has dropped to 349.81 and seems to be dropping further. The number has fallen from 584 cases per 100,000 last Wednesday (February 10th), which is a 40 percent drop in infections.

While the number of infections continues to decrease, Spain is still above what is considered 'extreme risk' as established by the Ministry of Health.

The incidence rate has been falling across the whole of Spain, but the biggest decreases have been seen in La Rioja, the Valencian Community and Castilla y León, Extremadura and Castilla-La Mancha, which have all seen incidence rates fall by over 50 percent. The Balearic Islands has also seen their incidence rates decrease by 45 percent.

The Balearic Islands, Cantabria, the Valencian Community, Murcia and Navarra, together with the Canary Islands, now have the lowest incidence rates in the country. The Canary Islands has the lowest incidence rate in the country with 126 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

One the other side, the autonomous community of Madrid currently has the highest incidence rate in the country with 489.87 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

The accumulative incidence rates have been dropping at different rates throughout the country. Madrid, along with Catalonia and Aragon and Cantabria for example only saw a 30 percent drop in their incidence rates since last Wednesday, while the Basque Country saw a drop of 25 percent and the Canary Islands saw a decrease of only 15 percent.

Restrictive measures and closures may account for the differences in rates, however Catalan health secretary Josep Argimon has also blamed the more contagious strain of Covid, from UK.

The variant first discovered in the UK is now one of the most predominant strains in Catalonia, accounting for one in three new infections. This mutant strain has also been seen in many infections across Madrid and Cantabria.

Despite this downward trend, the situation in the hospitals remains serious, particularly in the ICUs which now have 36 percent of their beds taken up by Covid-19 patients.

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CULTURE

Spain’s Prado probes if artwork was stolen by Franco’s regime

Madrid's El Prado Museum said Thursday it was investigating the provenance of 62 works in its collection to determine whether they were seized during Spain's civil war or the Franco dictatorship.

Spain's Prado probes if artwork was stolen by Franco's regime

“The aim is to clear up any doubts about the origins and the context that brought about the entry (of an artwork) into the Prado’s collection,” said a statement from the museum.

If the law allowed, they would be returned to their legitimate owners, it added.

The Madrid-based museum had on Tuesday released a list of 25 works that “originated from seizures during the (1936-39) civil war”, publishing images of 22 of the paintings on its website.

By Thursday, the number of artworks confirmed as seizures rose to 62, most of them paintings.

Among the works are paintings by 17th-century Flemish artist Jan Brueghel the Younger, French painter Francois Boucher and impressionist-inspired Spanish artist Joaquin Sorolla, according to the list.

Most of the works were being held in storage, although five of them — one by Sorolla — have been on display at public museums in Girona, Granada and Malaga, RTVE public television said.

“The quality of the works is very diverse, there are some by well-known masters like Joaquín Sorolla, but also anonymous paintings whose ownership will probably never be known,” Andrés Ubeda, the Prado’s head of conservation and investigation, told public television on Wednesday.

Investigators will now try and establish why these works were seized, he said, indicating it was the first step in what would likely be a long process aimed at restoring the artworks to the families of the original owners.

“The seizures carried out by Franco’s government were aimed at taking away the legitimate possessions of their wartime enemies,” he said.

The Prado said it had set up a team to probe the provenance of works in its collection. It will publish its report in January.

“The Prado Museum has decided to formally open an investigation into the possibility that some of the works in its collection may have come from seizures during the civil war or during the Franco dictatorship,” which ended in 1975, it said on Tuesday.

All 25 works initially identified were “deposited in (the museum’s) collection by the Commission for the Defence of Artistic Heritage” set up by Francisco Franco during the civil war, the statement added.

Seventeen of those paintings were given to the museum between 1940-1942, while another six were initially transferred to Madrid’s Museo de Arte Moderno in 1942-43 and later acquired by the Prado, it said.

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