ALSO READ: Spain’s ‘New Normality’ – key points
Report below updated in Spain at 17.30h on Saturday 20 June
CORONAVIRUS in SPAIN – latest Health Ministry figures
The latest official figure* released by the Spanish Health Ministry on Saturday 20 June for the number of people who have tested positive for Coronavirus only through a PCR test is now 245,938 – an increase of 134 over Friday.
Of the 134 new cases, 45 are in Madrid, 25 in Catalonia and 18 in the Aragón.
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).
The Ministry of Health’s official figures* for Saturday 20 June also now show that there have been a total of 28,322 Coronavirus-related deaths in Spain – an increase of 7 in 24 hours – and 36 in the past 7 days.
The figure released on Friday had been finally updated after 12 consecutive days, after the ministry had carried out a ‘validation of the deceased cases to correct the historical series’. The new figure showed 1,179 more deaths than the figure previously maintained since Sunday 7 June.
The current known peak of recorded deaths related to Coronavirus in a 24-hour period in Spain was on 2 April, when 950 deaths were registered.
A full breakdown in Spanish of the data per region, together with age group statistics can be found by clicking here.
Confusion and discrepancies
Although the Health Ministry has now updated its official Coronavirus mortality figures following on-going discrepancies with the data released by some of the country’s regional health authorities – there are still huge differences in the ‘excess mortality’ figures published for this period in Spain.
Spain’s National Statistics Institute (INE) recently published figures showing that the number of deaths for the first 21 weeks of 2020 have been 24% higher than for the same period in 2019 – based on information received from the country’s civil registries (1 January to 24 May). The number of deaths during this period for 2020 is 43,945 higher than in 2019.
The INE report of its latest statistics also states that the week between 30 March and 5 April saw the highest number of deaths in the year, ‘with 20,575 deaths, 154.6% higher than the same week in 2019′. During the week of 18 May – the last week included in the study – an estimated 7,470 people died, which is ‘a similar figure to the 7,429 from the same week in 2019′, the INE stated.
Spanish Health Minister Salvador Illa has said that, ‘Spain is following a very strict definition of cases [both for deaths and infections of Coronavirus] 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.’
Sánchez gives televised address to mark end of ‘state of alarm’
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez gave a televised address on Saturday to mark the imminent conclusion of the ‘state of alarm’.
Sánchez said, ‘Tomorrow the state of alarm will be lifted, and thanks to this, we have been able to save thousands of lives.’
During the ‘New Normality’ that starts from midnight on Saturday, Sánchez said that citizens must not ‘let their guard down’ and that they should be proud ‘for what we have achieved together’.
Sánchez said that today’s weekly Coronavirus-related address would be his last. ‘More than 28,000 fellow citizens have lost their lives in Spain,’ he said. ‘Ninety-nine days ago, our priority was to save lives, which is why on 14 March I announced the activation of the state of alarm and our country ground to a halt.’
Sánchez went on to thank all the health, emergency and essential services workers in Spain – as well as teachers, scientists ‘working on a vaccine’, children who had to cope with the lockdown, and elderly citizens ‘for remaining calm when the threat was very close’.
‘Thanks to all citizens for the sacrifice and the morale of victory,’ the prime minister said. ‘Thanks to all of you for staying at home. It is an honour to be the prime minister of this great country.’
He also reiterated that a state ceremony in honour of the victims of Covid-19 would be held on Thursday 16 July.
‘We need to recover our economy and at the same time renew it in order to make it more inclusive,’ Sánchez insisted. ‘Unity has saved thousands and thousands of lives in our country. Unity can save jobs.’
Referring to the EU, the prime minister said, ‘This time Europe must save Europe, and not as it was done before. I have no doubt that we are going to do it.’
To conclude, he said, ‘This will be my final presentation, and I want to end it by thanking you. You have shown understanding and have dealt with the suffering in an exemplary way.’
Click here for all previous reports on: Coronavirus in Spain
ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain figures (19 June)