Click here for today’s full report: Coronavirus in Spain (4 May)
Report below updated in Spain at 19.15h on Wednesday 15 April.
The latest figures released by the Spanish Health Ministry at 11.30am on Wednesday 15 April now confirm 177,633 known cases of Coronavirus (Covid-19) in Spain, 5,092 more than yesterday. It is also a new increase compared to the recent daily downward trend in the rate of new infections.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez is currently defending his government’s handling of the crisis in the Spanish Congress on Wednesday morning. Next week in Congress, Sánchez is expected to officially seek a further extension to the current ‘state of alarm’ lockdown in Spain until Sunday 10 May [see full report below].
Tuesday’s figure for Spain had seen an increase over Monday in confirmed cases of Coronavirus of 3,045 – the lowest daily increase since 20 March. Monday’s figure had been an increase of 3,477 over Sunday. Sunday had seen an increase of 4,167 over Saturday – and Saturday’s figure an increase of 4,830 on Friday.
18,579 people have now died from the pandemic in Spain, up by 523 on yesterday – a slight reduction over yesterday’s figure.
Tuesday had seen an increase in deaths from Covid-19 of 567 over Monday. Monday had seen an increase in deaths of 517 over Sunday’s figure. Sunday had seen an increase of 619 over Saturday. On Saturday, Spain had recorded its lowest daily increase in deaths (510) since 23 March.
70,853 people have now made a full recovery, 3,349 more than yesterday.
Of the official figures released, 49,526 confirmed cases are known to be in the Madrid region, and where 6,724 have died (from the total 18,579 across the country).
There are now 36,505 cases in Catalonia (3,756 deaths), 11,475 in the Basque Country (902 deaths), 10,595 in Andalusia (865), 14,680 in Castilla La Mancha (1,755) and 9,424 in the Valencia region (945).
Figures for those infected with Coronavirus in other regions are as follows: Aragón 4,338 (514 deaths), Asturias 2,096 (166 deaths), Balearic Islands 1,606 (125), Canary Islands 1,975 (104), Cantabria 1,823 (132), Castilla y León 13,697 (1,337), Ceuta 98 (4), Extremadura 2,762 (342), Galicia 7,708 (299), Melilla 101 (2), Murcia 1,520 (109), Navarra 4,246 (252) and La Rioja 3,457 (246).
Please note: the Spanish Health Ministry has not been giving complete figures for the number of people in intensive care units (ICUs) for various days, because Spain’s regions have been using different methods to collate these figures.
The exact number of deaths from Coronavirus in Spain could also be higher, since health authorities previously admitted that only those who died after testing positive have been included in the official death toll.
Some regional authorities have warned that the number of death certificates issued, particularly for those who have died in elderly residential homes, is higher than the official death toll.
There have also been issues with the timing of statistics sent to Madrid’s Health Ministry from each region, particularly during the weekend periods. Figures issued on Tuesdays by the ministry have sometimes reflected statistics not taken into account during the reports issued on Saturday and Sunday.
ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (14 April)
With the global death toll from the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic now over 125,000 and with around 2m people infected, threatening to tip the global economy into a second Great Depression, US President Donald Trump has ordered a freeze on his nation’s funding for the World Health Organization (WHO) for ‘mismanaging’ the crisis.
Trump said that funding for WHO would be frozen pending a review into the Geneva-based organization’s role in ‘severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus’. He also accused WHO of putting ‘political correctness above life-saving measures’.
Coronavirus could have been contained ‘with very little death’ if the WHO had accurately assessed the situation in China, where the disease broke in December 2019, said Trump.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said that the ‘Great Lockdown’ could wipe $9 trillion from the global economy in its worst downturn since the 1930s Great Depression.
Italy allowed bookshops, dry cleaners, stationery and children’s clothes shops to re-open on Tuesday, but many business owners chose to stay shut.
Denmark has begun to reopen schools on Wednesday after a month-long closure from Coronavirus – the first country in Europe to do so. Nurseries, kindergartens and primary schools are reopening, after being closed on 12 March. All schools are expected to reopen by 20 April.
As the pandemic appeared to be coming under control in some parts of Europe, it is now taking hold in Africa, which has now seen 15,000 cases and 800 deaths across the whole continent, with major fears about hunger and social unrest.
CORONAVIRUS in SPAIN
Further extension of lockdown planned
Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez is to request the authorisation from the Spanish Congress next week for an extension to the current ‘state of alarm’ lockdown in Spain until Sunday 10 May, according to Spain’s El Diario. The debate in the Spanish Congress will be held next Wednesday 22 April.
During last Thursday’s debate and vote in the Congress to extend the current lockdown until 26 April, Sánchez already said that he was ‘convinced’ he would have to ask for yet a further 15 days, which would prolong it until 10 May.
Whether all the same lockdown restrictions that apply in Spain under the current ‘state of alarm’ will be extended until 10 May is unknown. Some reports indicate that after 26 April, there is the possibility that young children accompanied by parents could be allowed to leave their homes.
Spain’s 17 regional government presidents have also been insisting that they have a voice in the details for any strategy in the extension of the lockdown, or the lifting of any restrictions. One proposal has been that different regions could relax the lockdown measures at different stages, depending on whether the pandemic is under control there – as appears to be the case in the Canary Islands.
Spain originally commenced its lockdown for two weeks from 14 March, with measures that confined everyone to their homes apart from leaving to purchase food or medication, or to go to their place of work only if they could not perform their duties from home. These initial measures were then extended until 12 April.
From Monday 30 March, further new measures ordered all non-essential workers in Spain to also remain at home until after the Easter weekend.
Although the Spanish government stressed that the relaxing of the lockdown restrictions only applied to industrial and construction workers, and for employees in sectors where working from home isn’t possible, many non-essential workers also started a gradual return to work on Monday – especially in the Madrid region.
As Monday 13 April was part of the Easter holiday in most of the other regions of Spain, Tuesday also saw many more people returning to their workplaces in Catalonia, the Basque Country, the Valencia region, Cantabria, Castilla-La Mancha, the Balearic Islands, the Canary Islands, La Rioja and Navarra.
Police and local authorities have been handing out face masks at metro and train stations, as well as at bus and tram stops.
The Spanish government has asked citizens travelling to work to wear face masks in public places and on public transport, where possible, and to continue the ‘social distancing’ of standing one or two metres from other people. The Interior Ministry has insisted that 10m face masks are being distributed across Spain.
Pedro Sánchez has received criticism for lifting the restrictions from some of Spain’s regional leaders and trade unions, however – and particularly from the president of Catalonia, Quim Torra.
Torra sent a letter to Sánchez at the weekend, stating that, ‘lifting these confinement measures … will lead to an increase of transmissions and a collapse of Catalonia’s health system’.
Torra said the decision taken by the Spanish government was ‘irresponsible and reckless’ and not supported by experts in Spain or abroad.
Isabel Díaz Ayuso, president of the regional government of Madrid, also expressed her doubts about lifting the restrictions. ‘Another wave [of infections] would be unforgivable,’ she said.
Spanish Economy and Unemployment
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has forecast a fall of 8% in the Spanish GDP in 2020, due to the crisis caused by Coronavirus. Spain is also projected to reach 20.8% unemployment this year.
In the Spanish Congress today, Wednesday 15 April, Pedro Sánchez commenced the session defending his government’s handling of the Coronavirus crisis, stating that he wanted ‘total victory’ against the pandemic, as well as political unity with regards a reconstruction plan.
Sánchez has again reiterated his proposal for a cross-party consensus along the lines of a ‘Moncloa Pact’ to deal with the economic and social after-effects of the Coronavirus crisis.
The Moncloa Pact of 1977, named after the Spanish prime minister’s official residence, the Moncloa Palace in Madrid, saw political parties, the business community and trade unions agree on a plan to solve Spain’s economic problems and help its transition from a dictatorship under Franco to a modern democracy.
Below are the numbers to call for each region of Spain for information and assistance in the event of possible cases of Coronavirus – as issued by the Spanish health authorities.
Up-to-date WHO advice and facts (in English) about the Coronavirus epidemic can be found here: www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/technical-guidance.
Our previous reports on Coronavirus in Spain:
ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (14 April)
ALSO READ: When can La Liga restart?
ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (13 April)
ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (12 April)
ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (11 April)
ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (10 April)
ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (9 April)
ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (8 April)
ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (7 April)
ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (6 April)
ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (5 April)
ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (4 April)
ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (3 April)
ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (2 April)
ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (1 April)
ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (31 March)
ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (30 March)
ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (29 March)
ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (28 March)
ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (27 March)
ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (26 March)
ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (25 March)
ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (24 March)
ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (23 March)
ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (22 March)
ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (21 March)
ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (20 March)
ALSO READ: ‘This virus we will stop together’ – video
ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (19 March)
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