The official number of deaths with COVID-19 in Spain already exceeds 40,000 after the Ministry of Health has notified 349 new deaths in the balance of this Wednesday. The total number of people who have died with the virus since the start of the health crisis amounts to 40,105. In recent weeks, the death toll has been on the rise. This Tuesday the highest daily figure of the second wave was recorded, with 411 deaths.
INTERVIEW | Elena Martínez, president of the Spanish Epidemiology Society (SEE): “The coronavirus is here to stay”
The latest Health balance also adds 19,096 new cases, of which 8,943 have been registered in the last day. With this update, 1.4 million infections are surpassed throughout the national territory, with a total of 1,417,709 positives detected since March.
Six autonomous communities register this Wednesday more than a thousand infections a day – compared to eight on Tuesday. These are Andalusia (3,416), Catalunya (3,042), Madrid (2,205), Comunitat Valenciana (1,934), Castilla y León (1,667) and Euskadi (1,413). In terms of death figures, Madrid is the community that has reported the most cases, with 82 new deaths. They are followed by Andalusia (62), Castilla y León (42), Comunitat Valenciana (35) and Aragón (30).
The autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla continue to be the regions with the highest incidence per number of inhabitants in the last 14 days, with 1,071 and 1,012 infections per 100,000 inhabitants, respectively. For its part, Aragon is the most affected peninsular area –with 947 cases per 100,000 people– followed by Navarra (865), Castilla y León (845), La Rioja (798), Euskadi (786) and Murcia (746).
In the last seven days, the number of hospitalizations amounted to 5,132, 398 in ICU. The saturation in hospital centers is evident throughout the national territory. Four out of ten ICU beds are occupied by COVID-19 patients in seven autonomous communities. La Rioja – the most affected – has 60% of ICUs with coronavirus patients, while Aragón and Melilla exceed 50%. For their part, Navarra, Catalunya, Asturias and Castilla y León have more than 40% of the space allocated to the virus.
The positivity index in Spain stands at 13.47%, where Ceuta (with 31.9%), Aragon (21.6%), Castilla y León (20.9%) and Andalusia (19.2%) they are the ones with a higher rate.
The announcement of 90% effectiveness of the vaccine of the pharmaceutical company Pfizer, with which Illa calculates that could immunize 10 million people By May of next year, it has awakened a wave of optimism in society and the bag. However, experts warn that there is still a long way to go.
The president of the Spanish Society of Epidemiology (SEE), Elena Martínez, assures that “we must be cautious”, since “the last phase of the study has not finished” and maintains that “the coronavirus is here to stay”. The expert defends that many behavioral habits will have to be changed, such as leaving the house if one finds it wrong, and insists on the importance of tracking: “If you leave it, you have lost the battle.”
This same Wednesday, the Government has advanced additional health and economic measures in the face of the second wave of the pandemic. The Minister of Health, Salvador Illa, announced this afternoon that Spain will ask for a negative PCR for those traveling from countries at risk. For her part, the Minister of Finance, María Jesús Montero, announced this morning VAT reduction from 21% to 4% for masks for sale to the public.
In the Community of Madrid, the Executive of Isabel Díaz Ayuso has asked for volunteers from other health centers to cover the 669 places for health personnel that will be needed for the new Isabel Zendal Hospital, in Valdebebas, built for the pandemic and which has cost more than 100 million euros.