SpainenglishThe latest official figures released by Spains Health Ministry at 11.30h on Friday 17 April confirm 188,068 known cases of Coronavirus (Covid-19) in Spain, 5,252 more than yesterday.
Thursdays figure had seen an increase of 5,183 over Wednesday. Wednesdays figure had shown an increase of 5,092 over Tuesday. Tuesday had been an increase over Monday of 3,045 – the lowest daily increase since 20 March.
19,478 people have now died from the pandemic in Spain, up by 585 on yesterday.
Thursday had seen an increase of 551 deaths over Wednesday. Wednesday had seen an increase of 523 over Tuesday. Tuesdays figure had been 567 on Monday.
Of the official figures released, 51,993 confirmed cases are known to be in the Madrid region, and where 7,007 have died (from the total 19,478 across the country).
72,963 people have now made a full recovery.
According to the official figures from Spains Health Ministry, there are now 38,316 cases in Catalonia and 3,855 deaths there – but there has since been a change in the method of collating data, so these figures will certainly increase [see below].
There are 12,089 known cases in the Basque Country (992 deaths), 11,053 in Andalusia (940), 15,997 in Castilla La Mancha (1,852) and 9,869 in the Valencia region (999).
Figures for those infected with Coronavirus in other regions are as follows: Aragón 4,664 (562 deaths), Asturias 2,230 (174 deaths), Balearic Islands 1,668 (134), Canary Islands 2,009 (111), Cantabria 1,884 (144), Castilla y León 14,903 (1,401), Ceuta 101 (4), Extremadura 3,019 (372), Galicia 8,013 (320), Melilla 104 (2), Murcia 1,625 (112), Navarra 4,433 (338) and LA
CORONAVIRUS in SPAIN
Discrepancies in data
The Spanish Health Minister Salvador Illa has defended the methodology being used in Spain to collate figures for the number of deaths from Coronavirus, in response to the discrepancies in data from some of the regional authorities compared to the figures released each day by the Health Ministry.
Spain is following a very strict definition of cases in line with international authorities, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), said Illa on Thursday, adding that anyone who tests positive for Covid-19 and then dies is considered a Coronavirus fatality.
At Thursdays press briefing after the Spanish Health Ministry released its daily figures, Fernando Simón, director of the ministrys Coordination Centre for Health Alerts and Emergencies, said, the actual death toll [from Coronavirus] is very difficult to know.
The comments follow the news that in Catalonia, the regional health department had only previously been counting figures for those who had died in hospitals. This has now been changed to include data provided by funeral homes, which includes those who have died not only in hospitals but also in nursing homes, social health centres or elderly residences, as well as at home.
On Thursday in Catalonia, the total number of deaths from Coronavirus since the start of the pandemic was recorded as 7,576. Yet Thursdays official figure for Catalonia released by Spains central Health Ministry in Madrid was 3,855.
The Spanish Health Ministry has also not been giving complete figures for the number of people in intensive care units (ICUs) for over a week, because Spains regions have been using different methods to collate these figures.
Furthermore, the exact number of recorded deaths from Coronavirus in Spain could be higher still, since health authorities previously admitted that only those who died after testing positive have been included in the official death toll.
Plans for children to leave home before lockdown ends
The Catalan government is planning to let children leave their homes within the next 10 days if new Covid-19 cases continue to decrease in Catalonia. It is to be discussed further at a meeting of the Plan de Protecció Civil de Catalunya (Procicat) on Saturday.
Any decision on lifting restrictions for children, however, is likely to require authorisation from the Spanish government.
Spain is officially still in lockdown until Sunday 26 April. Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez is expected to officially request authorisation from the Spanish Congress next week for an extension to the current state of alarm until Sunday 10 May. He will do so during a debate to be held in the Spanish Congress next Wednesday 22 April.
According to reports, the 26 April deadline is still being considered by the Catalan government and that at least during the next few days, the severe confinement must be maintained.
It has been reported that the Catalan government is considering granting permission for children to leave home during limited time slots, accompanied by parents, whilst keeping the minimum safety distance of two metres between people on the street, and with face masks compulsory for all people aged over three.
On Thursday, Ada Colau, the Mayor of Barcelona, also called for an end to strict Coronavirus lockdown measures in Spain which currently stop children from going outside for any reason at all.
These children need to get out, Colau wrote on social media. She has two children, aged three and nine.
Spain is currently the only country in Europe where children cannot leave home at all.
Week after week, they fight each other more every day, they have fits of sadness, anger, Colau wrote on Facebook, adding that like many other parents, she is worried about the psychological and emotional health of her children.
If adults can go out to walk the dog … why must our children keep waiting? she wrote.
Below are the numbers to call for each region of Spain for information and assistance in the event of possible cases of Coronavirus – as issued by the Spanish health authorities.
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