CORONAVIRUS in SPAIN – today’s figures
The latest official figures* for Coronavirus (Covid-19) released by Spain’s Health Ministryin Madrid at 5pm on Tuesday 19 May confirm that 27,778 people have now died from the pandemic in Spain, up by 83 on yesterday.
Monday had seen an increase of 59 Coronavirus-related deaths over Sunday – the lowest daily increase for two months. Sunday had been an increase of 87 over Saturday. Saturday had been 102.
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 Tuesday 19 May is 232,037 – an increase of 295 over yesterday.
Monday’s figure for the increase of infections only through PCR had been 285 over Sunday. Sunday’s comparative figure had been 421 over Saturday. Saturday had been 539.
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 Health Ministry has not released a figure for the number of people who have 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 232,037 confirmed cases through PCR testing – there have now been 66,643 cases in the Madrid region and where 8,894 have died (from the total 27,650 across the country). There have been 55,825 cases in Catalonia and where 5,981 have died.
There are now 13,409 known cases in the Basque Country (1,470 deaths), 12,471 in Andalusia (1,358), 16,677 in Castilla La Mancha (2,900) and 10,962 in the Valencia region (1,370).
Figures for those infected with Coronavirus in other regions are now as follows: Aragón 5,520 (843 deaths), Asturias 2,373 (303 deaths), Balearic Islands 2,005 (219), Canary Islands 2,294 (155), Cantabria 2,273 (208), Castilla y León 18,549 (1,960), Ceuta 117 (4), Extremadura 2,953 (504), Galicia 9,058 (607), Melilla 121 (2), Murcia 1,558 (145), Navarra 5,202 (503) and La Rioja 4,027 (352).
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.
CORONAVIRUS in SPAIN
Sánchez secures support from Ciudadanos (Cs) for two week extension to ‘state of alarm’
The Spanish government led by socialist (PSOE) Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has reached an agreement with the Ciudadanos (Cs) party, led by Inés Arrimadas, to support a further two week extension to the ‘state of alarm’ until 7 June.
The full debate and vote will be held in the Spanish Congress on Wednesday 20 May. It will be the fifth time that the ‘state of alarm’ has been extended.
Each time the ‘state of alarm’ has been extended up to now, it has been for two weeks at a time. However, in a televised address on Saturday, Sánchez announced he would be seeking an extension for a month to last until the end of the four-phase de-escalation of lockdown restrictions.
‘The path that we are taking is the only one possible,’ he had said. He has always insisted that the ‘state of alarm’ is necessary in order to effectively carry out (and enforce) his government’s four-phase plan over a period of eight weeks, and in order to return the country to a ‘new normality’ by the end of June.
Daily figures for Coronavirus in Spain, however, have been improving significantly in recent days – possibly reflecting that the gradual relaxing of restrictions from total lockdown to Phase Zero, and now from Zero to Phase One for 70% of the Spanish population, has not had a negative impact on the spread of the virus.
There has also been considerable criticism of the Spanish Health Ministry from the Madridregional government, for not yet allowing the city to move to Phase One – as well as pressure from other institutions to kickstart the economy and the all-important tourist season in Spain. In addition, for several days running, small but growing protests have been taking place in some areas of Madrid against the ‘state of alarm’ – and which started in the affluent Barrio de Salamanca of the capital. [See our report of 15 May].
In exchange for the Ciudadanos (Cs) party’s 10 favourable votes, the government has stated that it will assess possible de-escalation alternatives that do not require a further period of the ‘state of alarm’ after 7 June.
Each extension of the ‘state of alarm’ requires a vote in the Spanish Congress, with just a simple majority in the 350-seat chamber – more yes votes than no votes.
For the last vote in Congress on 6 May, the PSOE-Podemos coalition government of Sánchez had to rely on last minute deals with the Ciudadanos (Cs) party and the Basque Nationalist Party (EAJ-PNV) to secure the fourth extension, which expires after midnight on 23 May.
Votes in favour of the last extension were 178, with 75 voting against, and with 97abstentions. The right-wing People’s Party (PP) abstained in the vote. The Catalan pro-independence parties and the far-right Vox party had voted against.
When the Spanish Congress had voted on 22 April to extend the ‘state of alarm’ until 9 May, however, there had been 269 votes in favour, 60 against, with 16 abstentions.
Previous voting on 9 April to extend the ‘state of alarm’ until 26 April had resulted in 270votes in favour, 54 against, with 25 abstentions.
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, for a second time until 26 April, a third time until 9 May – and then for the fourth time until midnight on 23 May.
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.
When the Spanish Congress had voted to extend the ‘state of alarm’ until 9 May, it also came with the relaxation of some restrictions, specifically allowing children aged up to 14 the opportunity to take daily walks for an hour from Sunday 26 April, after 43 days confined at home.
From Saturday 2 May – after 48 days in confinement – adults across Spain also were allowed out to walk and exercise during set time slots.
The four-phase de-escalation plan then officially commenced from Monday 4 May.
*Health Ministry data
From 24 April, Spain’s Health Ministry changed its criteria for Coronavirus statistics. The official daily figure for the number of infections is now for those tested only via PCR(polymerase chain reaction).
All regions of Spain must now also 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 or rapid test.
Health Minister Salvador Illa said, ‘Spain is following a very strict definition of cases in line with international authorities, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the EU Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). Anyone who tests positive for Covid-19 and then dies is considered a Coronavirus fatality’.
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.