27th October 2020
Pedro Sánchez
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Coronavirus in Spain full update (15 April)

Click here for today’s full report: Coronavirus in Spain (4 May)

ALSO READ: Lifting of lockdown in Spain – full details of all phases

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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).

Catalan health department
An image tweeted by the Catalan health department (@salutcat), stating that the ‘human treatment and the warmth provided during these days by health workers to patients is as important as the medical care’.

ALSO READ: Despite lockdown, Spaniards applaud health workers from balconies every evening

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.

IFEMA hospital applause
Healthcare workers from Madrid’s IFEMA hospital joining in the applause that takes place ever evening across Spain to thank those helping to combat the Coronavirus pandemic. (Photo Comunidad de Madrid / comunidad.madrid)

ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (14 April)

GLOBAL OVERVIEW

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.

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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.

Pedro Sánchez
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez in the Spanish Congress on 9 April 2020. (Photo Spanish Congress / congreso.es)

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.

Cleaning Spanish Congress
An employee at the Spanish Congress cleaning the speakers’ stand on 18 March 2020. (Photo via Twitter / the Podemos party @podem_cat)

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.

‘Total victory’

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.

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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.

Numbers to call
The numbers to call for each region of Spain.

Click here for further information (in Spanish) regarding Coronavirus from the Spanish Health Ministry.

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: Open Arms refugee NGO helping to combat Coronavirus

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: Lockdown in Spain set to be extended until 26 April

ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (3 April)

ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain: unemployment figures worst on record

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: FC Barcelona players agree to 70% pay cut, and will ensure staff receive 100%

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: Animal rights NGO starts petition against possible state aid for cancelled bullfights

ALSO READ: Spain publishes list of hotels that will remain open

ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (25 March)

ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (24 March)

ALSO READ: Video of boy training as goalkeeper in isolation goes viral

ALSO READ: The new restrictions at Spain’s airports, ports and land borders

ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (23 March)

ALSO READ: Madrid starts receiving patients at IFEMA exhibition centre ‘hospital’

ALSO READ: Confirmed: lockdown extended until at least 11 April

ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (22 March)

ALSO READ: Walking a goat or a Vietnamese pig is not allowed

ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain – full advice for British travellers seeking to return to the UK

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)

ALSO READ: Despite lockdown, Spaniards applaud health workers from balconies every evening

Editor’s note: 

At Spain in English we’re always keen to also publish positive stories and features about life in Spain – not just the current news. With all cultural and sporting events currently on hold, as well as travel and gastronomic excursions, we welcome on-going contributions from all of you who’d like to send us articles for publication. Although we are unable to currently pay for contributions, we will certainly credit you and share the articles across our social media network (if of interest) – and/or also link to your own blogs or other sites. We currently welcome upbeat, positive and fun articles – perhaps how you’re coping with the ‘lockdown’ in your own area of Spain – or how your community is responding, or recommendations of help to others. We have a dedicated ‘Opinion, Blogs & Spanish Experiences‘ section where your articles will appear. We will edit for clarity and length only – and we reserve the right to not publish. Articles should be sent via email to editorial@spainenglish.com (preferably with a photo and credit details), and should be around 500 words (800 to 1,000 max). We will try to respond to everyone, but please be patient with us. We’re a very small team but with big ambitions! Please stay safe. Thank you for reading and following us.

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1 comment

Paul Wheeler 15th April 2020 at 12:05 pm

I have lived in Galacia, A Coruna for 17 months. I am excited to receive your daily news in English.

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