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A multidisciplinary team of researchers from Catalan universities and hospitals has estimated that Spain may currently have a total of 124,300 active cases of coronavirus spread across all of its autonomous communities, according to a statement released this Friday.

This would be 70,000 more than those recorded by the data of the Spanish health ministry on May 17th, the last day on which the available statistics published enables the number of active cases to be calculated. That day, the official figure stood at 53,521 active cases.

The analysis, carrried out by the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya-Barcelona Tech (UPC) and the Germans Trias i Pujol Research Institute (IGTP) shows that the most affected regions are Madrid, with 35,000 active cases, 28% of the total, and Catalonia, with 34,000 cases, 27% of the total. They are followed by Castilla y León (13,000 cases) and Castilla-La Mancha (11,000 cases).  While these proportions follow similar patterns to the health ministry's estimate on the spread by autonomous communities, the big difference is in the absolute numbers.   

Even in the least-affected parts of Spain, the number of cases still active is thought to be well into three figures: autonomous communities of Asturias (700 active cases), Cantabria (600), La Rioja (600) and the Canary Islands (500) are the territories with the lowest numbers of active cases.

Graph in tweet: "Active Covid-19 cases by Spanish Autonomous Community: Data to May 19th. Estimate of absolute number in Community, and % of total active cases in Spain"

The results have been obtained from mathematical models developed by the UPC and the IGTP that take into account the mortataility level of the virus (around 1% in the territories with the most significant Covid-19 penetration), the diagnostic delay, that is, the time that passes between a person developing symptoms and their entry into the database as positive, and the country's detection capacity, which in Spain is between 8% and 10% .

From these values ​​and the data reported by Spain's autonomous communities, the actual number of active cases that have occurred in the last 14 days can be established. "This is the number of people who are potentially infectious, although it does not mean that all of these people are, in reality, infectious," the researchers said.

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