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Coronavirus in Spain full update (19 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 11.45h on Sunday 19 April.

The latest official figures* released by Spain’s Health Ministry in Madrid at 11.30am on Sunday 19 April confirm a total of 195,944 known cases of Coronavirus (Covid-19) in Spain, 4,218 more than yesterday.

Saturday’s figure had seen an increase of 4,499 new infections compared to Friday. Friday had been an increase of 5,252 over Thursday. Thursday’s figure had been 5,183.

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

20,453 people have now died from the pandemic in Spain, up by 410 on yesterday – but the lowest daily increase for 28 days.

Saturday had seen an increase of 565 Coronavirus-related deaths over Friday. Friday’s figure had been an increase of 585 over Thursday. Thursday’s figure had been 551.

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

77,357 people have now made a full recovery – up by 2,695 on yesterday.

Of the official figures released by the Health Ministry today, 54,884 confirmed cases of Coronavirus are known to be in the Madrid region, and where 7,239 have died (from the total 20,453 across the country).

There are now 40,600 cases in Catalonia and 3,933 deaths there. In Catalonia, however, there has also been a change in the method of collating data, so these figures could be higher (please also see ‘Health Ministry data and regional discrepancies’ below).

There are 12,569 known cases in the Basque Country (1,062 deaths), 11,205 in Andalusia (993), 16,625 in Castilla La Mancha (1,963) and 9,937 in the Valencia region (1,065).

Figures for those infected with Coronavirus in other regions are as follows: Aragón 4,831 (619 deaths), Asturias 2,298 (196 deaths), Balearic Islands 1,773 (155), Canary Islands 2,047 (119), Cantabria 2,050 (153), Castilla y León 15,621 (1,458), Ceuta 109 (4), Extremadura 3,136 (384), Galicia 8,185 (346), Melilla 104 (2), Murcia 1,644 (116), Navarra 4,621 (369) and La Rioja 3,705 (277).

*Please see ‘Health Ministry data and discrepancies’ below

ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (18 April)

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez answering questions from the media via video following his TV address on 18 April 2020. (Pool Moncloa / Borja Puig de la Bellacasa)


Children to be allowed out from 27 April

In a televised address on Saturday evening regarding the planned new extension of the country’s lockdown until 9 May, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez also announced that children across Spain will have the opportunity to leave the confinement of their homes from 27 April onwards. Specific details of where children will be allowed to go and how often, however, are yet to be announced. Schools will remain closed in Spain.

On Friday, the Catalan government had said 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.

In his TV address on Saturday evening, Pedro Sánchez also said that he would be seeking official authorisation from the Spanish Congress to extend the current ‘state of alarm’ lockdown in Spain until 9 May, although there would be a ‘progressive de-escalation’ of restrictions.

ALSO READ: One day more, one day less

Sánchez, head of the socialist PSOE party, currently leads a coalition government in Spain with the left-wing Podemos group. The debate in Congress to extend the lockdown until 9 May will be held on Wednesday 22 April.

Civil protection officials preparing to hgive face masks to commuters at Sants Station in Barcelona on 14 April 2020. (Photo @emergenciescat / Twitter)

Spain is currently officially in lockdown until Sunday 26 April. The country 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 Easter. Following the Easter break, industrial and construction workers, as well as non-essential employees in sectors where working from home wasn’t possible, started a gradual return to work.

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.

In his TV address on Saturday evening, prime minister Sánchez said that as well as allowing children to leave the confinement of their homes from 27 April onwards, the relaxing of lockdown restrictions across Spain is likely to be ‘phased’ after 9 May.

Answering questions from the media following his address, he said that the lifting of the restrictions could also be different for each region or province, depending on where the outbreak of Coronavirus is more under control.

Sánchez also made reference to six recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO) regarding a return to normality: a controlled transition and the identification of those infected with Coronavirus – as well as the identification those they have made contact with; strict controls for areas with a higher risk of infection; preventive measures at work, schools and universities; and for the public to continue to follow hygiene recommendations as well as social distancing.

*Health Ministry data and regional discrepancies

Spain’s central Health Ministry in Madrid has not been giving complete figures for the number of people in intensive care units (ICUs) for over a week, because some of Spain’s 17 regions had been using different methods to collate these figures. There had also been discrepancies in how some of the regions had been collating the statistics for the number of deaths from Coronavirus.

In Catalonia, for example, the regional health department had only previously been counting figures for those who had died in hospitals. This was then 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.

On Friday, following discrepancies in the way that data has been collated, the Spanish government published an order in its Boletín Oficial del Estado (BOE) to clarify the criteria that must be used.

Pedro Sánchez (left) and Fernando Simón meeting on 4 March 2020.

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 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.

Last Thursday, Health Minister Salvador Illa defended the methodology being used in Spain to collate figures for the number of deaths from Coronavirus.

‘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’.

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.

Simón also said that the new criteria ordered by the ministry could take a few days to be implemented. He said, ‘the information will be given gradually according to our ability to provide it correctly’.

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

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.

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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.

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:

Our previous reports on Coronavirus in Spain:

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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 (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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