HEALTH experts are growing concerned following three consecutive days of growth in both COVID-19 deaths and infections.
In the past 24 hours, the number of new confirmed cases has risen by 506, up from the 439 and 426 recorded on Wednesday and Tuesday respectively.
The rises had been attributed to a backlog in results becoming known, but health leaders are now fearing they could represent a small spike in COVID-19 incidence.
In fact for the first time in several days, the growth rate of infections has increased, with new cases growing 0.22% more than at the beginning of the week.
Scientists have been studying whether or not the decision to allow children under the age of 14 to leave their homes on April 26 could be behind the rise.
But director of health emergencies Fernando Simon told a press conference today that that theory has been ruled out. It came after an increase in child cases created cause for concern, yet that is now believed to have been due to ‘overdue figures’ being recorded.
Meanwhile, 70% of the latest new cases have come from just three regions; Catalunya (with 195), Madrid (with 88) and Castilla y Leon (with 68).
All three regions, mostly, were kept in Phase 0 of the de-escalation plan last week, with the latest figures seeming to justify the government’s decision to hold them back.
Catalunya and Castilla y Leon have accepted that call and are not demanding to enter Phase 1.
Madrid, meanwhile, has seen protests and, along with Malaga and Granada, is asking to enter the next phase from May 18.
Spain’s total number of confirmed cases sits at 229,540 as of today, but as a recent study has suggested, the real number could be closer to 2.3 million.
It comes after a nationwide epidemiological test revealed 5% of the country has developed antibodies against COVID-19.
In terms of deaths, the daily figure has surpassed 200 for the first time in several days.
Some 217 people lost their lives to the disease in the past 24 hours, up from 184 on Wednesday and 176 on Tuesday. But the health ministry says that increase is not indicative of a sudden surge in COVID-19 incidence, given that the majority of those who died were infected up to more than two months ago.
It brings the total death toll to 27,321, a figure only beaten by the UK, US, Italy and France.
Catalunya has the lion’s share of new deaths, with 131 recorded between Wednesday and Thursday, although it is not yet clear whether these are new deaths or the result of a backlog in recording figures.