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Coronavirus in Spain full update (20 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 16.25h on Monday 20 April.

The latest official figures* released by Spain’s Health Ministry in Madrid at 11.15am on Monday 20 April confirm a total of 200,210 known cases of Coronavirus (Covid-19) in Spain, 4,266 more than yesterday.

Sunday’s figure had seen an increase of 4,218 new infections compared to Saturday. Saturday had been an increase of 4,499 over Friday. Friday’s figure had been 5,252.

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

20,852 people have now died from the pandemic in Spain, up by 399 on yesterday the lowest daily increase since 22 March.

Sunday had seen an increase of 410 Coronavirus-related deaths over Saturday. Saturday’s figure had been an increase of 565 over Friday. Friday’s figure had been 585.

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.

80,587 people have now made a full recovery, an increase of 3,230 over Sunday.

Of the official figures released by the Health Ministry today, 56,963 confirmed cases of Coronavirus are known to be in the Madrid region, and where 7,351 have died (from the total 20,852 across the country).

There are now 41,676 cases in Catalonia and 4,009 deaths there. In Catalonia, however, there has also recently been a change in the method of collating data, so these figures could be higher (please refer to Health Ministry data and regional discrepancies below).

There are 12,628 known cases in the Basque Country (1,081 deaths), 11,323 in Andalusia (1,013), 16,796 in Castilla La Mancha (2,021) and 10,018 in the Valencia region (1,079).

Figures for those infected with Coronavirus in other regions are as follows: Aragón 4,886 (637 deaths), Asturias 2,348 (200 deaths), Balearic Islands 1,788 (157), Canary Islands 2,067 (119), Cantabria 2,083 (158), Castilla y León 15,857 (1,493), Ceuta 111 (4), Extremadura 3,186 (389), Galicia 8,299 (352), Melilla 104 (2), Murcia 1,646 (117), Navarra 4,697 (385) and La Rioja 3,734 (285).

A full breakdown in Spanish of the data per region, together with age group statistics can be found by clicking here.

ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (19 April)

*Please see ‘Health Ministry data and discrepancies’ below.

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Image of tribute made each day at 12 noon, in the Puerta del Sol in Madrid, to pay respect to the victims affected by Covid-19. (Photo courtesy of the Comunidad de Madrid / @ComunidadMadrid / Twitter)


The Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has now claimed over 165,000 lives worldwide, with nearly two thirds of those in Europe.

With more than 4.5bn people still under various levels of lockdown across the globe, some countries in Europe, however, have started to take initial steps on the path to resume normality. On Monday Germany is allowing some retail shops to open up again, and Norway is re-opening nursery schools.

There were encouraging signs over the weekend with the daily death tolls dropping not only in Spain, but also in Italy, France and the UK.

Germany has been one of the most successful countries in Europe to contain the disease. With the authorities declaring it ‘under control’ at the weekend, smaller shops in some regions are re-opening on Monday, with larger stores in the main cities to open at a later date. Students will return to schools from 4 May.

In the USA, the nation with the highest number of deaths and infections, the New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the outbreak was ‘on the descent’.

New Zealand also announced on Monday that it will start to ease a nationwide lockdown during next week, with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern saying, ‘We have stopped a wave of devastation.’


Easing of restrictions for children

Since Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced in a televised address over the weekend that children across Spain will have ‘the opportunity’ to leave the confinement of their homes from 27 April onwards, authorities in some of the regions are seeking to be allowed to make their own decisions on the matter.

Speaking in a press conference on Sunday after a video conference with Sánchez and other regional leaders, the president of the Catalan government, Quim Torra, said that he had asked to manage the relaxation of the rules from Catalonia because, according to him, ‘every region requires a specific response’.

Pedro Sánchez holding a previous video conference with the regional presidents of Spain (Photo La Moncloa / @desdelamoncloa)

Torra said that he was not the only regional leader to request the authority to oversee this. ‘The situation in Extremadura is not that of Madrid,’ he said, claiming that Sánchez also seemed to be receptive to the suggestions put forward.

Torra suggested that with the easing of restrictions, the wearing of face masks should be made compulsory once that everyone’s access to them was guaranteed, and that his government was studying the introduction of an ‘immunity passport’ to enable access to public spaces. He also highlighted the need for widespread testing and the use of the Catalan health department’s ‘Stop Covid-19’ phone app to track the pandemic’s progression.

ALSO READ: One day more, one day less

In his TV address on Saturday, prime minister Sánchez had said that he would be seeking to extend the current ‘state of alarm’ lockdown in Spain until 9 May, although there would be a ‘progressive de-escalation’ of restrictions. This included ‘the opportunity’ for children across Spain to leave the confinement of their homes from 27 April onwards.

At the moment, however, specific details of where children will be allowed to go and how often, are yet to be announced. Schools will remain closed in Spain.

Any further extension to the lockdown in Spain requires the approval of the Spanish Congress. Sánchez is the head of the socialist PSOE party and 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.

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.

ALSO READ: Co-Vida: an inspiring community action project

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.

On Saturday during his TV address, Sánchez also made reference to six recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO) regarding a return to normality. These included a controlled transition and the identification of those infected with Coronavirus – as well as the identification of 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.

Moncloa Pact proposals

Pedro Sánchez also used his speech on Saturday to again call for cross-party unity with regards a reconstruction programme for Spain to deal with the social and economic impact of the pandemic. The cross-party pact that Sánchez is seeking would be along the lines of a ‘Moncloa Pact’.

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.

On Monday morning the Bank of Spain has forecast a collapse of the Spanish economy of up to 13%.

This report is currently being updated.

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

*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.

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 asymptomaticcases. 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.

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:

ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (19 April)

ALSO READ: Co-Vida: an inspiring community action project

ALSO READ: One day more, one day less

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

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: 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’

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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 (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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