Deaths in Spain in 2020 spiked to highest level since 1941

Deaths in Spain in 2020 spiked to highest level since 1941
Photo: OSCAR DEL POZO / AFP
Deaths in Spain in 2020 increased by 17.7 percent compared to 2019 figures, the Spanish government reported on Thursday, the biggest number of annual deaths since records began in 1941.

The number of deaths in all of Spain totalled 492,930 in 2020, which was an increase of 74,227 or 17.7 percent over the previous year. 

The greatest number of deaths were seen in the Madrid region, the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic in Spain. Deaths in Madrid jumped 41 percent in 2020 over the previous year, official figures showed Thursday.

The region, which is home to around 6.7 million people, recorded a total of 66,683 deaths last year, up from 47,165 in 2019, Spain’s national statistics agency INE said in a statement.

The Madrid region accounts for 14.3 percent of Spain’s population, of around 47 million, but it saw some 20 percent of the country’s total Covid-19 deaths.

It was especially hard hit by the first wave of the pandemic in March when officials used an ice-skating rink in the Spanish capital as a temporary mortuary for Covid-19 victims and set up a field hospital in the city’s conference centre.

Spain, one of Europe’s worst-hit countries, recorded around 50,000 deaths from Covid-19 in 2020, according to health ministry figures.

But the actual number of infections and fatalities is likely significantly higher because only seriously ill patients were tested during the first months of the pandemic because of a limited testing capacity.

Covid-19 has killed more than 80,000 people in Spain since the start of the pandemic, according to the health ministry.

The numbers of deaths and cases have fallen steeply in recent weeks as Spain´s vaccination programme has picked up.

Just over one in four people, 28 percent, in Spain have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

READ ALSO: Spain’s Covid-19 infection rate drops to its lowest in ten months


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