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For yet another day, the cold official statistics have revealed the magnitude of the tragedy. In just over two and a half months, 27,119 people have died of coronavirus in Spain according to the ministry's count. The light in the midst of so much grieving is that the curve is finally flattening out, and with each passing day it is confirmed that Covid-19 is losing strength in the Spanish state. According to the health ministry in Madrid, the last seven days have seen the deaths from Covid-19 of 38 people in Spain, which is the lowest figure for a seven-day period since the beginning of March, and a far cry from the most tragic days at the start of April.

Why the reference to seven day periods? Since this Monday, the Spanish technical committee monitoring the evolution of the pandemic has changed its calculation system, introducing new indicators which are intended to further refine the monitoring of the situation. This has led to the correction of some numbers. The week, for example, began with the health ministry deducting 1,918 deaths from the official count accumulated so far. The data is still being reevaluated, eliminating from the calculation duplicate reports of deaths and suspicious cases that finally were not confirmed as Covid-19.

So, for example, if we look at the difference between the total accumulated number of deaths that the Spanish government reported yesterday and what it has given today, there is only one more death. In contrast, the ministry estimates that there have been 38 deaths in the last seven days. Almost the same thing happened yesterday, with 39 deaths from Covid-19 last week, but there was only one difference in difference from the previous day.

In other words, the irony of the improvements to the system is that, for the moment at least, they have also upset the ability to chart the curve over time with rigor. Nevertheless, the figure of 38 deaths in a week is, in absolute numbers, a clear decline in the mortality of the virus in Spain.    

Most new infections are in Madrid and Catalonia

As for the total number of cases detected so far, 327,906 people have now contracted the coronavirus in Spain since the start of the epidemic. In the last 24 hours, 182 new cases have been confirmed, more than half of them in Madrid and Catalonia. Yesterday's figure was 231.

The Spanish capital has reported 67 new cases since yesterday and Catalonia, 39. Castilla la Mancha, La Rioja, Ceuta and Melilla detected no new cases in the last 24 hour period measured.

15,000 deaths still not fully explained 

Thus, the ministry's figures, which officials assert are being made more reliable all the time, are looking progressively better. But, amidst the assurances and the continual dance of the statistics, a note of caution was sounded this week when Spain's Civil Registry updated its statistics on the overall total of deaths that had occurred in Spain between March 10th and May 10th - and the numbers speak for themselves.

In those two months, there was an increase of 55% on the usual mortality figures for this period in Spain - in absolute figures, around 43,000 more people died than usual in these springtime months in Spain. That's over 15,000 more than the official Spanish count for deaths from coronavirus in this period.

Health emergency coordinator Dr Fernando Simón stated that over the days ahead more of these 15,000 deaths which were not tested for coronavirus at the time are likely to be confirmed as Covid-19 cases, while also commenting with regret that, beyond the deaths from Covid-19, other patients with serious illnesses may have been “afraid to go to hospital" and this has ended up being fatal, thus leading to a higher than normal death toll over the two month period from other causes.