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Coronavirus in Spain full update (18 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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#LATEST Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has announced that although he is seeking to extend the main measures of the ‘state of alarm’ lockdown in Spain until 9 May, he plans to allow children the opportunity to leave the confinement of their homes from 27 April onwards.

Spain is officially still in lockdown until Sunday 26 April. Sánchez will officially be requesting authorisation from the Spanish Congress next week for an extension until 9 May. He will do so during a debate to be held in the Spanish Congress next Wednesday 22 April.

As well as allowing children to leave the confinement of their homes from 27 April onwards, Sánchez also announced on Saturday evening that the phase of reducing the lockdown restrictions across Spain will then be ‘phased’ and could also be different for each region or province, depending on where the outbreak of Coronavirus is more under control.

Earlier this week, the Catalan government had said that it would be considering allowing children to leave home during limited time slots in Catalonia ‘within 10 days’, accompanied by parents, whilst keeping the minimum safety distance of two metres between people on the street, and with face masks compulsory for all people aged over three.

Any decision on lifting restrictions for children in Catalonia ahead of 27 April, however, would have also required authorisation from the Spanish government.

Click here for latest report: Coronavirus in Spain full update (19 April)

Our earlier full report for 18 April:

The latest official figures released by Spain’s Health Ministry in Madrid at 1pm on Saturday 18 April confirm a total of 191,726 known cases of Coronavirus (Covid-19) in Spain, 4,499 more than yesterday.

Friday’s figure had seen an increase of 5,252 confirmed new infections over Thursday. Thursday was an increase of 5,183 over Wednesday. Wednesday’s figure had been 5,092.

The current peak of recorded infections for a 24-hour period in Spain was on 31 March, when 9,222 new cases were registered.

20,043 people have now died from the pandemic in Spain, up by 565 on yesterday.

Friday had seen an increase of 585 Coronavirus-related deaths over Thursday. Thursday had seen an increase of 551 deaths over Wednesday. Wednesday’s figure had been 523.

The current peak of recorded deaths in a 24-hour period related to Coronavirus in Spain was on 2 April, when 950 deaths were registered.

74,662 people have now made a full recovery – up by 3,166 on yesterday.

The Spanish Health Ministry has not been giving complete figures for the number of people in intensive care units (ICUs) for over a week, because Spain’s regions have been using different methods to collate these figures. The Spanish government has also published an order in its Boletín Oficial del Estado (BOE) to clarify the criteria that should be used from each region for collating all data [please see our report below].

Of the official figures released by the Health Ministry today, 52,946 confirmed cases of Coronavirus are known to be in the Madrid region, and where 7,132 have died (from the total 20,043 across the country).

There are now 39,943 cases in Catalonia and 3,879 deaths there. In Catalonia, however, there has also been a change in the method of collating data, so these figures are likely to be higher [also please see report below].

There are 12,355 known cases in the Basque Country (1,020 deaths), 11,020 in Andalusia (967), 16,349 in Castilla La Mancha (1,913) and 9,795 in the Valencia region (1,042).

Figures for those infected with Coronavirus in other regions are as follows: Aragón 4,761 (601 deaths), Asturias 2,272 (187 deaths), Balearic Islands 1,748 (187), Canary Islands 2,035 (115), Cantabria 1,990 (149), Castilla y León 15,293 (1,429), Ceuta 108 (4), Extremadura 3,081 (380), Galicia 8,084 (334), Melilla 104 (2), Murcia 1,638 (115), Navarra 4,556 (354) and La Rioja 3,648 (272).

ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (17 April)

Police controls in Barcelona
Police controls in Barcelona during the lockdown. (Barcelona Ajuntament – City Council / @bcn_ajuntament / Twitter)

GLOBAL OVERVIEW

In the USA the number of known Coronavirus infections surpassed 700,000 on Friday, with the death toll now more than 35,000. New York state accounts for nearly half of those deaths. As in many other countries, stay-at-home orders and the closure of non-essential businesses have battered the economy, forcing millions of lay-offs amid forecasts that the USA will now face its deepest recession since the economic collapse of the 1930s.

Meanwhile the Republican US President Donald Trump took to Twitter to attack Democratic governors in four states over their handling of the pandemic, after conceding that each US state has the final word on when to lift restrictions. Trump posted a series of messages: ‘LIBERATE MICHIGAN!’ ‘LIBERATE MINNESOTA!’ and ‘LIBERATE VIRGINIA!’

In Italy the disease has now officially claimed 22,745 lives – the second highest death toll only to the USA. Italian health officials, however, claim that they have now prevented further spread of the virus in the country’s southern regions. Figures on Friday showed the number of people currently being treated for Covid-19 rising by only a few hundred for the first time since the outbreak began.

France recorded 761 more deaths from Coronavirus infections on Friday, making the total now 18,681 – the fourth-highest death toll in the world (after Spain) – although the number of people in hospital has declined for a third day running.

Capt Tom Moore
Tom Moore’s current fundraising total. (18 April 2020)

In the UK, the 99-year-old World War II veteran, captain Tom Moore, has now raised over £21m for the NHS. He had originally aimed to raise £1,000 by completing 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday. Prince William has called him a ‘one-man fundraising machine’ and an ‘absolute legend’.

Tom Moore’s daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore has said, ‘There are no words left to say. We cannot believe people’s generosity and he’s floored by it.’

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CORONAVIRUS in SPAIN

Data and discrepancies

Fernando Simón, the director of the Spanish Health Ministry’s Coordination Centre for Health Alerts and Emergencies, said on Friday that the number of Coronavirus cases in Spain is likely to rise as further testing is carried out.

The current peak of recorded infections for a 24-hour period in Spain was on 31 March, when 9,222 new cases were registered.

‘There are also many people with mild symptoms who do not contact the [health] system and are not tested,’ Simón said. He also said that the death rate in Spain was 10.5% compared to 13% in Italy.

The current peak of recorded deaths in a 24-hour period related to Coronavirus in Spain was on 2 April, when 950 deaths were registered.

On Friday, following discrepancies in the way that data is being collated from some of Spain’s 17 regions for registering Coronavirus-related deaths and intensive care (ICU) admissions, the Spanish government also published an order in its Boletín Oficial del Estado (BOE) to clarify the criteria that should be used.

Fernando Simón
Fernando Simón, director of the Spanish Health Ministry’s Coordination Centre for Health Alerts and Emergencies.

The Spanish Health Ministry has not been giving complete figures for the number of people in ICUs for over a week, because some regions have been counting the number of patients admitted since the beginning of the Coronavirus outbreak, whilst others report how many are currently in intensive care.

In Catalonia, the regional health department had also only previously been counting figures for those who had died in hospitals. This has now been changed to include data provided by funeral homes, which includes those who have died not only in hospitals but also in nursing homes, social health centres or elderly residences, as well as at home.

With the criteria published in the BOE, the Spanish government has ordered all regions to report deaths and ICU admissions in the same way. A victim can only be counted in the death tally if they have tested positive for Covid-19 via a PCR (polymerase chain reaction testing) or rapid test. The same applies to confirmed infections.

Spain’s central Health Ministry has also requested that each region send in the total number of infections divided into symptomatic and asymptomatic cases. In addition, they also require the number of PCR tests carried out from each region, the total number of people that have required hospital treatment, including intensive care, as well as the number of patients who have been discharged.

Pedro Sánchez
Pedro Sánchez speaking in the Spanish Congress on 15 April 2020, with his second deputy PM, Pablo Iglesias, alongside. (Photo: congreso.es)

Fernando Simón admitted on Friday that the new criteria could take a few days to be implemented. He said, ‘the information will be given gradually according to our ability to provide it correctly’.

On Thursday the Spanish Health Minister Salvador Illa had defended the methodology being used in Spain to collate figures for the number of deaths from Coronavirus, in response to the discrepancies in data from some of the regional authorities.

‘Spain is following a very strict definition of cases in line with international authorities, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC),’ said Illa, adding that ‘anyone who tests positive for Covid-19 and then dies is considered a Coronavirus fatality.’

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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: Coronavirus in Spain full update (17 April)

ALSO READ: ‘Up on the Roof’ – surviving lockdown from above

ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (16 April)

ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (15 April)

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: Lockdown in Spain set to be extended until 26 April

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

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

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

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: ‘This virus we will stop together’ – video 

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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2 comments

Christine Hearn 18th April 2020 at 2:22 pm

How come more people had recovered on the 16th of April ? Day after numbers dropped and have begun to rise again.

Reply
Spain in English 18th April 2020 at 3:37 pm

There have been many discrepancies in the information released over the past 3 days by the Health Ministry. The on-going issue with the ‘curados’ figure given by the ministry has also been the interpretation of whether it has meant ‘fully recovered’ or ‘discharged from hospital’. This might explain why the figure has been readjusted from that given on 16 April. We hope this helps.

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