Health

Spain records highest daily death toll, percentage of new infections drops

Madrid, Mar 27 (efe-epa).- Spanish health authorities on Friday said 768 people had died in the last 24 hours after contracting coronavirus, the highest daily toll in the country since the outbreak began.

The new peak brings the total number of deaths in Spain to 4,858, while the number of new infections rose 14 percent in a day, the lowest increase in the last 15 days.

Spain has recorded a total of 64,059 confirmed Covid-19 cases overall, almost 50,000 of which are still active.

Fernando Simón, the head of Spain’s public health emergency department, said the new figures provided a “certain hope” that the country was experiencing a flattening of the curve in terms of new cases, adding that such analysis must be treated with caution at this time.

The number of deaths in one day jumped 18.8 percent compared to the 655 deaths recorded Thursday but Simon highlighted that the figure, as a percentage of total cases, appeared to have stabilized.

“We have more deaths today than yesterday but the increase in terms of percentage it is the same as the last three days,” he said in his daily briefing.

“It seems there is a clear stabilization.”

The fatality rate for Covid-19 in Spain was roughly 7.2 percent.

On a positive note, the number of people who have recovered from Covid-19 stands at 9,357 – almost double the number of deaths – with 2,342 people being discharged from hospital in the last 24 hours.

Spain continues to see a high number of Covid-19 cases among health workers.

According to the latest data, at least 9,444 medical professionals have contracted the virus.

“It is a high figure compared with other countries,” Simón said.

“It’s one of our main concerns.”

Spanish medical unions have complained about a lack of personal protection equipment like masks, gowns and gloves.

At least 9,000 rapid testing kits that had been ordered by the government as part of a strategy to distribute 640,000 across the country, had to be sent back because they proved inaccurate, the health ministry said Thursday.

They had been purchased from a Chinese company via a national provider.

The region of Madrid continues to account for the most cases nationwide, with 19,240 reported overall and 2,412 deaths. Catalonia is the second-worst affected, with 12,940 overall cases and 880 deaths.

Simón has repeatedly warned that Spain’s hospitals will see an upsurge in pressure to handle coronavirus cases even once the number of new infections starts to decline in Spain.

Some 4,165 coronavirus patients are in ICU care across the country. EFE-EPA

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