A PAPER published yesterday by a leading Spanish medical journal has discovered that the devastating COVID-19 pandemic has caused the mortality rate in Spain to drop by nearly eight years.

The study, conducted by Sergi Trias-Llimos of the Centre for Demographic Studies, illustrates for the first time how the massive death toll has affected Spain’s normally high life expectancy.

Using data from the Spanish Daily Mortality Monitoring System (MoMo), Trias-Llimos and his team discovered that based on 2019 figures, the nationwide life expectancy has been reduced by 0.9 years.

Week on week, the figures were even bleaker.

Between weeks 11 and 20 in 2020, when the virus was taking hold in the first phase, life expectancy dropped by a staggering 6.1 years, with weeks 13 to 14 dropping further to 7.6 years.

By municipality, Madrid was the worst hit, with weeks at the height of the pandemic seeing life expectancy dropping by up to 15 years.

On average in the nation’s capital, between March and July, Madrid’s life expectancy dropped by 2.9 years in both men and women.

Areas such as the Canary and Balearic Islands did not see any alterations in their life expectancy figures.

“Weekly and annual life expectancy are sensitive and useful indicators for understanding disparities and communicating the gravity of the situation because differences are expressed in intuitive year units,” said Trias-Llimos.

The paper concluded with a bleak warning as Spain currently battles with a vicious second wave.

“The recently observed mortality excess in the second wave suggests the drops in life expectancy by the end of the year to be larger than what is currently estimated in this paper,” it read.

Spain has recently passed 40,000 COVID-19 related deaths, with Madrid accounting for 10,946, with 96 recorded in the past 24 hours.

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