Covid-19 National News

Spain passes the Coronavirus million mark

On the day the country became the first in Western Europe to record more than a million cases of Covid-19, Spain’s regional governments also reported 16,973 fresh cases, a new record in terms of daily infections.

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Since its first diagnosed case on January 31, the country has recorded 1,005,295 infections, based on PCR and antigen tests, making it the sixth nation worldwide to report one million cases after the US, India, Brazil, Russia and Argentina.

With 156 deaths in the previous 24 hours, the figures revealed on Wednesday suggest that far from slowing down, the rates of infection are accelerating rapidly.

Pressure on the healthcare system is also rising. There are 13,638 patients hospitalized for Covid-19, representing 11.51% of all available beds and a 17% rise from a week ago. There are 1,930 coronavirus patients in intensive care, compared with 1,652 a week ago, for a rise of 16.82%.

Most regions have resorted to tighter measures in recent weeks, in an effort to curb the rise in infections, including night-time curfews and a complete ban on ‘night bars’, but these measures appear to have had little effect.

This could be explained by the fact that Covid-19 can take up to 10 days before it is detected, or it could simply be that measures taken across the country are proving insufficient against generalised community transmission.

However, national and regional leaders are bitterly divided over how to handle the situation.

Politicians in the national parliament were debating a no-confidence motion in Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez on Wednesday filed by the far-right Vox Party, while central government has clashed repeatedly with regional leaders over how best to proceed.

Spain was hit hard by coronavirus in the first months of the pandemic and brought in some of the strictest measures to combat the spread, but like most European countries, the country lessened its regulations as case numbers dropped.

With a total of 34,366 Covid-19 related deaths now recorded, the health minister, Salvador Illa, was due to meet regional leader on Thursday to discuss the next steps, having not ruled out a nationwide State of Emergency being reintroduced.

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