Report below updated in Spain at 18h on Wednesday 15 July
CORONAVIRUS in SPAIN – latest Health Ministry figures
The latest official figure* released by the Spanish Health Ministry on Wednesday 15 July for the number of people who have tested positive for Coronavirus (Covid-19) is now 257,494. This is an overall increase of 875 against the figure released on Tuesday – but with the ministry stating that 390 of these infections have occurred in the past 24 hours.
Tuesday had shown an increase of 263 new infections in 24 hours (but an overall increase of 666 over the figures released on Monday).
Monday had shown an increase of 164 new infections in 24 hours, but an overall increase of 2,045 over the figures released on Friday – with the ministry not having released any figures over the weekend.
Of the 390 new infections registered in the past 24 hours by the central Health Ministry in Spain, 160 are in Aragón (with 830 new cases there in the past 14 days), 91 are in Catalonia (with 3,952 new cases there in the past 14 days), 43 are in Madrid, 28 in Andalusia and 17 in Navarra.
Independently of the way that Spain’s Health Ministry presents its figures, the regional health department in Catalonia has released its own data showing that an additional 938 new cases of Covid-19 have been recorded there in the past 24 hours. It is Catalonia’s highest daily rise in nearly two months.
According to the Catalan health department, more than half of the 938 new cases are in two adjoining health regions, the city of Barcelona and the southern metropolitan area, both recording 246 cases each – with 199 in Lleida.
Ada Colau, mayor of Barcelona, announced on Wednesday that the city now has 29 active clusters of Covid-19.
The southern metropolitan area includes L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, where people in three districts have been asked to stay at home. (See ‘More restrictions in Catalonia’ below).
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 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.
More restrictions in Catalonia
The Catalan government has introduced new measures in an attempt to combat a further rise in the number of Coronavirus infections across Catalonia – and not just in the county of Segrià and areas surrounding the city of Lleida.
The municipality of L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, south west of Barcelona, is now also under the spotlight.
Segrià – Lleida
After a legal wrangle regarding whether the Catalan government had the right to impose home confinement measures in Lleida and seven surrounding municipalities in the county of Segrià, restrictions have finally been approved in 7 of the initial 8 municipalities that the regional government had requested, including the city of Lleida, but excluding the town of Massalcoreig.
Travel to and from these municipalities will be restricted from 4pm on Wednesday, according to the Catalan government’s resolution on the matter.
The restrictions will be in place for 15 days, with the regional government providing weekly updates on the state of the pandemic in the area.
A local court had ruled against the regional government’s initial home confinement order on Monday morning. You can read the full report here: Court rules against home confinement ordered for residents in areas of Lleida.
L’Hospitalet de Llobregat
The Catalan government had also advised that people in three districts of L’Hospitalet de Llobregat – the neighbourhoods of Collblanc, La Florida and La Torrassa – to not leave home.
However, a local judge rejected banning gatherings of over 10 people because it would infringe upon ‘a fundamental right’ written in the Spanish Constitution.
Weddings, religious services, celebrations and funerals are still allowed to take place – but the capacity of bars and restaurants will be limited and the re-opening of theatres, gyms and other public spaces will also be delayed.
Catalan president Quim Torra announced on Wednesday that he would be appealing the court ruling ‘in the coming hours’ and asked L’Hospitalet residents to follow the government’s health and safety recommendations.
Outings for residents in care homes put on hold
From Thursday, care home residents in Catalonia will not be allowed out for day trips or weekend visits with family members or friends. Only trips that are for three weeks or more will be permitted.
Those returning from approved trips will have to take PCR diagnostic tests and remain in isolation for 10 days. Friends and family will still be allowed to visit residents, although times may be restricted or suspended for public health reasons.
The Spanish government has currently ruled out implementing a new ‘state of alarm’ in order to control the new outbreaks in Catalonia or elsewhere.
With the end of the state of alarm on 21 June and the start of the ‘New Normality’, all regional powers that had been centralised were reinstated. Each of Spain’s regional governments now has to monitor and control the epidemiological situation in their area.
More regions make face masks compulsory
La Rioja, Navarra, Aragón and Andalusia regions are also to make it compulsory to wear face masks in public spaces, indoors and outdoors, even when social distancing can be maintained, and following the measures taken in Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and Extremadura.
Asturias, Cantabria and Murcia are expected to follow.
The wearing of face masks is already compulsory in Spain, but only outdoors if social distancing cannot be maintained – with police having the power to fine citizens for not wearing them.
It forms part of the measures within a royal decree that establish the guidelines that govern the New Normality. Wearing face masks is obligatory if a social distance of 1.5 metres cannot be maintained, with fines of up to €100 if it is not observed.
The new measures in the regions making it compulsory mean that both residents and tourists will have to wear a face mask at all times in public, regardless of the 1.5m social distance rule – except on the beach and at swimming pools, and except when the nature of the activity makes it incompatible, such as doing sport or exercise, or once customers are eating and drinking at bars and restaurants.
*Discrepancies in figures
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.
Click here for full report: Spain’s ‘excess mortality’ during Coronavirus pandemic is over 43,000
Spain’s National Statistics Institute (INE) also 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.
Spain has started its ‘New Normality’
After three months under a ‘state of alarm’ (since 14 March), Spain entered its ‘New Normality’ phase on Monday 22 June, following on from the government’s four phased plan to relax the country’s lockdown restrictions. CLICK HERE for all details: Spain’s ‘New Normality’ – key points
Click here for all previous reports on: Coronavirus in Spain
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