21 Oct, 2020 @ 22:07
1 min read

Spain first country in Europe to register one MILLION COVID-19 cases – but healthcare system is managing

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IT was 265 days ago that Spain registered its first coronavirus case when a German tourist tested positive for the disease in the Canary Islands.

Fast forward nine months and the country has now officially passed the one million mark, the first European country to do so.

The breaking of the one million barrier came on a day in which the record for the daily number of new infections was also broken.

Spain counted 16,923 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, bringing the total official caseload to 1,005,295.

The figures make it clear that the country has not yet reached the peak of the so-called second wave.

During the first wave, the peak was reached on March 31 when 9,222 cases were counted, however they were not including rapid antibody tests, as they are now.

But as ever, there is a large difference between the regions’ daily count today, with three accounting for the majority; Catalunya 4,195, Madrid 3,397 and Andalucia 3,369.

Only five other countries in the world have passed the one million mark, according to the World Health Organisation.

They are the US with more than 8.1 million, India with more than 7.6 million, Brazil and Russia both with 1.4 million and Argentina with just over one million.

In terms of deaths, Spain added 156 in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 34,366 since the start of the pandemic.

In the past week a total of 575 people have lost their lives to the virus in the country.

The ever important cumulative incidence rate, i.e the number of cases per 100,000 inhabitants, is also increasing, standing as of today at 332.69.

This varies widely when broken down by regions, with Navarra scoring 1,021 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, Melilla 836 and Castilla y Leon 517.

While Andalucia, the most populous region, recorded the third highest daily case count, its incidence rate remains below the national average.

Despite these increases, the Spanish healthcare system is so far managing to cope with COVID-19 patients.

Today saw the number of people admitted with the virus increase by 410 to 13,698.

It means 11.51% of all hospital beds are taken up by coronavirus patients (an increase of just 0.5% on yesterday).

Meanwhile 19 people were moved into intensive care, bringing the total of ICU beds occupied by the disease to 1,930 – or 20%.

In Madrid, the number of ICU beds filled by COVID-19 patients is at 39%, while in both Castilla y Leon and La Rioja it is 35%.

Laurence Dollimore

Laurence has a BA and MA in International Relations and a Gold Standard diploma in Multi-Media journalism from News Associates in London. He has almost a decade of experience and previously worked as a senior reporter for the Mail Online in London.

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