Wednesday 8 April 2020
The rates of growth of new coronavirus infections and deaths in Catalonia have maintained their downward trends this evening. There has been a small rise in the number of new infections, but the daily percentage rate of growth has remained constant. 1,396 new coronavirus infections have been reported, bringing the total number to 31,043, a 4.7% increase on yesterday. In Catalonia, 107 more people have died in the last hours, bringing the death toll to 3,148. This is an daily percentage increase of 3.5% and the smallest increase since the epidemic began. Since March 15, 37% of all coronavirus deaths in Catalonia (1,178 people) have occurred in nursing homes. As of yesterday, 94% of the 3,041 people who have died from the coronavirus in Catalonia were over 60 years old and 67% were over 80 years old.
The rate of daily increase of new coronavirus infections in Spain has upturned again today (+0.3%), with deaths declining (-0.2%). The overall trend in the growth of new infections and deaths remains downwards. The twentyfive days of strict confinement of the population is having the desired mitigation effect, the peak of the curve has passed and the epidemic is in the slowdown phase. This morning, there are 146,690 people reported infected in the whole of Spain, 6,180 more than on Tuesday, an increase of 4.4%. This is the third lowest daily percentage rate of increase in new infections since the epidemic began. The total of deceased rises to 14,555, 757 more than yesterday, an increase of 5.5%. This is the second lowest daily percentage increase in deaths so far.
Salvador Illa, the Minister of Health, reports this morning that: "according to the data updated this morning, the number of infected continues to decline with an increase today of 4%. A week ago the average increase was 7%. Two weeks ago, 15%. The increase in ICU admissions is 3%. One week ago it was 6% and two weeks ago it was 16%. Those who have died has increased by 5% today. Last week it was 9%. The people discharged from hospital are 11% more than yesterday. When we talk about deceased people, I regret to say that there are no good data."
The WHO, through its deputy director general, Bruce Aylward, has described as "heroic and innovative" the work carried out by Spain and its containment measures. Besides praising the work of the health professionals, he also highlights: "the amazing response from the population. The streets in Madrid and Barcelona, which are cities with a lot of activity, are empty, the stores remain closed ... there is a strong collaboration from the population, who have understood that you have to stay home to stop the outbreak."
The rate of growth of new coronavirus infections was 47.3% on March 14, the day the lockdown was put in place and has gone as high as 200% during the crisis. Reducing the rate of infection is key to beating the virus, because each day of increases compounds on the number of cases the day before. That means a 40% increase in cases early on in the outbreak may only equal a few hundred more people getting sick, but the same percentage increase later on can correspond to tens of thousands of people getting sick in one go. A rapid increase would lead to the healthcare system becoming overwhelmed, which in turn would increase the rate at which people die as key equipment such as ventilators runs out. In addition, there would be many collateral deaths due to other illnesses that cannot be dealt with in time.
Spanish Government calculations at the start of the state of alarm indicated active cases of coronavirus would slow their exponential rise at the end of March.
The numbers reported represent only the more serious infection cases as people with mild symptoms are requested to self-isolate at home, without the need to call health assistance or be tested. A study published on 16 March in Science Magazine, has found that until Wuhan's forced isolation, 86% of all infections were not being detected, and each undetected person spread the disease to 2.3 other people on average.
Spain remains on lockdown, all borders sealed, strict regulations on movement of the population and closure of all but essential shops and services.
The Government of Spain has extended the state of alarm for another two weeks, until April 26. Spain will also restrict entry for most foreigners at air and sea ports until April 16.
Tuesday 7 April 2020
The rates of growth of new coronavirus infections and deaths in Catalonia have maintained their downward trends this evening. There has been a fall in the number of new infections. 1,324 new coronavirus infections have been reported, bringing the total number to 29,647, a 4.7% increase on yesterday. In Catalonia, 133 more people have died in the last hours, bringing the death toll to 3,041. This is an increase of 4.6% from yesterday.
The rates of increase of new coronavirus infections and deaths in Spain have upturned today, after 5 days of falls. The data must be viewed with caution due to the under-reporting that occurs on weekends and most Tuesdays see a correction with accumulated data. The twentyfour days of strict confinement of the population is having the desired mitigation effect, the peak of the curve has been reached and the epidemic is in the slowdown phase. This morning, there are 140,510 people reported infected in the whole of Spain, 5,478 more than on Monday, an increase of 4.1%. The total of deceased rises to 13,798, 743 more than yesterday, an increase of 5.7%.
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