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Coronavirus in Spain full update (7 May)

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ALSO READ: Lifting of lockdown in Spain – full details of all phases, regions & provinces, plus what is permitted in each phase

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Report below updated in Spain at 12.20pm on Thursday 7 May

CORONAVIRUS in SPAIN – today’s figures

The latest official figures* for Coronavirus (Covid-19) released by Spain’s Health Ministry in Madrid at 11am on Thursday 7 May confirm that 26,070 people have now died from the pandemic in Spain, up by 213 on yesterday.

Wednesday had seen an increase of 244 Coronavirus-related deaths over Tuesday. Tuesday had been an increase of 185 over Monday. Monday had been 164 – the lowest figure since 18 March.

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.

Official figures released daily by the Spanish Health Ministry are for the total number of people who have tested positive for Coronavirus only through a PCR test (polymerase chain reaction). That figure for Thursday 7 May is 221,447 – an increase of 754 over yesterday.

Wednesday’s figure for the increase of infections tested only through PCR had been 685 over Tuesday. Tuesday’s comparative figure had been 867 over Monday. Monday had been 356.

A total figure also released today by the ministry for those who have tested positive through PCR and antibody testing, however, is 256,855 (221,447 PCR; 35,408 antibody).

The current peak of recorded infections for a 24-hour period in Spain was on 31 March, when 9,222 new cases were registered (including from PCR and antibody).

128,511 people have now made a full recovery.

With regards the official figures released by the central Health Ministry for each region of Spain, there have been discrepancies in the data released independently by some of those regions, particularly for Madrid and Catalonia. Please refer to *Health Ministry data and regional discrepancies below.

Of the official figures released by the ministry today – and based only on the total 221,447 confirmed cases through PCR testing – there are now 63,870 cases in the Madrid region and where 8,504 have died (from the total 26,070 across the country). There are now 51,190 cases in Catalonia and where 5,394 have died.

There are now 13,041 known cases in the Basque Country (1,383 deaths), 12,268 in Andalusia (1,294), 16,184 in Castilla La Mancha (2,677) and 10,592 in the Valencia region (1,303).

Figures for those infected with Coronavirus in other regions are now as follows: Aragón 5,258 (800 deaths), Asturias 2,326 (292 deaths), Balearic Islands 1,929 (201), Canary Islands 2,235 (144), Cantabria 2,220 (200), Castilla y León 17,625 (1,864), Ceuta 109 (4), Extremadura 2,877 (467), Galicia 9,134 (586), Melilla 119 (2), Murcia 1,501 (137), Navarra 4,983 (480) and La Rioja 3,986 (338).

A full breakdown in Spanish of the data per region, together with age group statistics can be found by clicking here. Please also see Health Ministry data and discrepancies below.

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Barcelona police
Whilst certain restrictions are being lifted across Spain, the lockdown has been extended until 24 May, and many police controls are still in place. (Photo courtesy of Barcelona’s local police, the Guardia Urbana @barcelona_GUB)

CORONAVIRUS in SPAIN – latest updates

Spain started Phase Zero of the government’s ‘four phase’ de-escalation plans to lift lockdown restrictions from Monday 4 May – and which was to last for ‘at least a week’.

We have published all the key rules and guidance regarding the Four Phases of the Spanish government’s plans for the lifting of lockdown measures in a separate report. It is regularly updated as and when new measures are officially announced. The report can be found here: Lifting of lockdown in Spain – full details of all phases.

Spanish Congress votes to extend ‘state of alarm’

On Wednesday the Spanish Congress voted to officially extend the current ‘state of alarm’ lockdown in the country until 24 May. Votes in favour of the extension were 178, with 75 against and 97 abstentions. It is the fourth time that the lockdown has been extended, after starting on 14 March.

The overall lockdown will continue at least until 24 May whilst Spain also continues with the ‘four phase de-escalation plan‘ of gradually lifting restrictions, depending on the progress of each region.

On Thursday, Spain’s first deputy prime minister Carmen Calvo said in an interview that it was almost certain that Spain would still need ‘some more weeks’ of lockdown even further than 24 May.

The session in the Spanish Congress on Wednesday started with a minute’s silence for the victims of Coronavirus. In his opening address, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced that Spain would have an official period of mourning once the majority of the regions were in Phase One of the de-escalation plan.

He also said that once the country reached the phase of the ‘new normality’, there would be an official public memorial held for the victims.

In his appeal for an extension to the lockdown, Sánchez said that ‘there aren’t any absolutely correct decisions’, but that ‘ignoring the risk posed by the pandemic’ and ‘lifting the state of alarm now would be an absolute, total mistake and unforgivable’.

Pedro Sánchez
Spanish PM Pedro Sánchez in the Congress on 6 May 2020. (Photo congreso.es)

He also appealed to the regions of Spain to act with ‘fiscal co-responsibility’ once his government transfers the Coronavirus relief funds to the regional governments.

Last week the Spanish prime minister announced that the central government was allocating a special fund of €16bn for the regions. From that total, €10bn would be to support healthcare, €1bn on social welfare and €5n to help the economic recovery.

In Congress Sánchez said that whilst the spread of Coronavirus in Spain had been growing at a daily rate of 35% seven weeks ago, this rate now stands at 0.31%. He claimed ‘albeit prudently’ that indications showed that the disease was under control in Spain and that the health system was no longer overwhelmed.

The improvement, he said, had been achieved with ‘a great deal of sacrifice’ and by ‘moving forwards together’, thanks to ‘decreeing the state of alarm’. After this ‘partial victory’, Sánchez said that Spain could now propose its de-escalation phase.

Sánchez insisted that in order to halt the spread of the virus, it required ‘limiting the right to free movement and the right of assembly’ over the next few weeks, with the ultimate aim of saving lives and guaranteeing public health.

He also pointed out that, although they will be increasingly less severe, the restrictions ‘are only possible under the state of alarm’ – a constitutional legal instrument ‘designed to fight pandemics and health emergencies, as expressly established in the Constitutional Law that enacted the state of emergency’.

Sánchez is the head of the socialist PSOE party and currently leads a coalition government in Spain with the left-wing Podemos group.

The government succeeded in Wednesday’s vote with the support of the Ciudadanos (Cs) party and the Basque Nationalist Party (EAJ-PNV).

The right-wing People’s Party (PP) abstained in the vote. The Catalan pro-independence parties and the far-right Vox party voted against.

Inés Arrimadas, leader of the Ciudadanos (Cs) party, had announced on Tuesday evening that her MPs would vote in favour of the extension, but with some conditions.

Arrimadas insisted that the government reports weekly on the progress of the de-escalation with her party.

On Wednesday morning the Basque Nationalist Party (EAJ-PNV) also confirmed its support, in exchange for obliging Spain’s central government to agree upon the de-escalation of lockdown measures with regional governments.

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. After one week, these initial measures were then extended until 12 April, then for a second time until 26 April – and then until 9 May.

Spanish Congress
A minute’s silence being held in the Spanish Congress before the start of the session on 9 April 2020. (Photo Spanish Congress / congreso.es)

During the overall lockdown period, from Monday 30 March until after Easter, further measures were introduced ordering all non-essential workers in Spain to also remain at home. 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.

With the relaxing of restrictions for children from Sunday 26 April – after 43 days confined at home – they were allowed out for an hour accompanied by a parent, guardian or elder sibling. From Saturday 2 May – after 48 days in confinement – adults across Spain were allowed out to walk and exercise during set time slots. Now Spain is in the initial Phase Zero of the Spanish government’s ‘four-phase de-escalation plan‘ to relax lockdown restrictions over a maximum 8-week period.

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

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*Health Ministry data 

Since 24 April, the Spanish Health Ministry changed its criteria for presenting its Coronavirus statistics each day, to only include the number of infections of those tested via PCR (polymerase chain reaction).

Previously, the ministry had also stipulated to Spain’s regional health authorities how the overall data should be collated, as some regions had been using different methods to collate their own figures.

In Catalonia, for example, the regional health department had only previously been counting figures for those who had died from Coronavirus in hospitals. This was then changed to include figures for those who had also died in nursing homes, social health centres or elderly residences, as well as at home.

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.

All regions must now report deaths and intensive care unit (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.

Spanish Health Minister Salvador Illa
Spanish Health Minister Salvador Illa

The 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.

Salvador Illa, the Spanish Health Minister, said that, ‘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). Anyone who tests positive for Covid-19 and then dies is considered a Coronavirus fatality’.

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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 (6 May)

ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (5 May)

ALSO READ: Opinion: It’s common sense … isn’t it?

ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (4 May)

ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (2 May)

ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (1 May)

ALSO READ: Children enjoy first ‘hour of freedom’ in 43 days

ALSO READ: Opinion: why bullfights should stay cancelled after Covid-19

ALSO READ: Pedro Sánchez seeks cross-party ‘Moncloa Pact’ for recovery programme

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

ALSO READ: One day more, one day less

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

ALSO READ: Open Arms refugee NGO helping to combat Coronavirus

ALSO READ: When can La Liga restart?

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

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

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