Spain surpassed China on Monday in confirmed cases of coronavirus, but the growth of infections has been moderating for several days and the number of deaths in a single day fell slightly, from 838 to 812, to 7,340 deaths.
Those infected in Spain are 85,195, while those diagnosed in China since the start of the pandemic stand at 81,470, with 3,304 deaths.
There is a change in the trend in the average increase in daily cases, but what is most worrying now is the pressure on the intensive care units (ICU), Dr. María José Sierra, head of area of the Coordination Center, warned at a press conference. of Alerts and Health Emergencies of Spain.
Sierra replaced the regular spokesperson for the pandemic of the Ministry of Health, Dr. Fernando Simón, who tested positive for coronavirus.
The country faces the third week of alarm, with drastic measures that limit the movement of people and numerous economic activities.
To harden the confinement of the population, the government, chaired by the socialist Pedro Sánchez, approved a decree on Sunday that paralyzed all non-essential sectors until April 9.
Your workers will need to stay home with a recoverable paid leave to accelerate the containment of the pandemic.
Among many other restrictive measures, the Ministry of Health also banned funeral services and religious services and established the entourage of burials and cremations for up to three family members.
SLOWDOWN OF CONTACTS
The 6,398 new cases known in Spain represent an 8.1% increase, compared to previous increases of even 30%.
Between March 15 and 25, the average number of infected was 20% and since then it is 12%, Dr. Sierra said, although she asked for caution.
Furthermore, the healed so far are 20% of all reported infected.
The Minister of Health, Salvador Illa, indicated that the stabilization of the epidemic curve visualizes a slowdown, called for “a great deal of caution” and commented: “If we are not at the peak (of infections), we are very close to it.”
AVOID COLLAPSE OF INTENSIVE CARE
The most critical point of health care is still the ICU, where 5,231 people are admitted -324 more in 24 hours-. Health authorities expect the number to continue to rise in the coming weeks with currently reported cases.
The region of Catalonia is at the head of patients in these units and surpassed Madrid, although this autonomous community is where there are more deaths: 3,392, 46% of the Spanish total.
Minister Illa argued that stopping non-essential activity is one more step to slow down mobility and lower pressure on ICUs.
Due to saturation, the Ministry of Health is studying the transfer of patients between regions, something that is not ruled out. And if necessary, the offer of doctors from other countries would be accepted.
Health equipment has already started to be transferred between regions and hospitals had to be expanded or other emergency ones had to be set up and sick people had to be accommodated in hotels such as Madrid and Barcelona.
Several unions denounced the “chaotic situation” of the temporary hospital installed in exhibition halls in Madrid, since many health workers, they claimed, are not clear about their functions and others lack sufficient individual protection equipment.
Lack of this material is one of the most severe complaints. About 12,300 professionals have been infected so far, although between 85 and 90% are doing well and are at home, according to authorities.
According to Health, a Spanish military plane from China with several tons of material and a million rapid tests for coronavirus will shortly land.
And three million masks arrived for hospitals from that country in the first plane chartered by Iberia, the Spanish Federation of Health Technology Companies (Fenin) and the Oesína Group.
The Executive’s decision to suspend all non-essential activity, announced on Saturday and approved on Sunday, generated criticism from the business community.
The president of the CEOE employers’ association, Antonio Garamendi, denounced “certain precipitation”, that this organization was not consulted nor the sectors affected were known until last midnight.
The Minister of Labor, Yolanda Díaz, denied improvisation and added that it is a “sensible” measure
“Without health there is no economy,” said the health minister, explaining that the government takes the measures it deems appropriate “based on information from experts.”
The opposition leader, the conservative Pablo Casado (Popular Party) reproached the “lies” of the Executive and warned that he will not support the latest decrees on job maintenance and the cessation of activities if they are not modified.