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Spain continues its grim ascent to a coronavirus summit, whose precise location is still unknown. The health authorities' calculation is that the "peak of the epidemic" will be reached between this weekend and next week. In the meantime, however, the number of deaths per day continues to be in the hundreds. And the figures for those ill with the virus goes up by thousands at a time. The latest count from the Spanish health ministry raises the number of deaths to 2,696 according to the count from the ministry, around five hundred more than yesterday. In the last 24 hours, 6,584 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 have been added, a figure that puts the total number of diagnosed infections in Spain at 39,673.

"It's been ten days since Spain acted very restrictively across the whole country and, in principle, that will have a major impact," said health emergency coordinator Fernando Simón today in Madrid. "For that to become visible we have had to wait until these days, I don't whether it'll be tomorrow or Friday, but in the next few days."  

The data breakdown by Spanish regions given by the Spanish government today does not coincide with the last update made at 10pm last night by the Catalan health authorities, which increased the number of deaths in Catalonia to 339. Today the official Spanish figures give a figure of 282. According to the Catalan health count, its total, and thus the Spanish one as well, is 57 more - that means the total deaths in the last day in Spain is 571, and the overall total, 2,753 fatalities. The number of infections in Catalonia listed in the Spanish figures, as opposed to deaths, does coincide with that given by the Catalan authorities.

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Parallel to the figure for those who have died is the number that gives a little hope, those who have recovered, and this figure has today risen by 439 patients, with a total of 3,794 having been given the all-clear. Nevertheless, in the last 24 hours more people have died than have recovered.

One of the aspects that worries the health authorities most is the figure of 5,400 healthcare professionals infected, 14% of all cases in Spain. In the last day, 1,500 doctors and nurses have been confirmed as ill with the virus.

At the moment Spain has the fourth largest total of confirmed Covid-19 infections in the world, behind China, Italy and the United States.

More than half from Madrid

The most important focus is still in Madrid. Fifty-seven per cent of deaths from coronavirus in the Spanish state have been in the capital and its region, along with a third of the infections diagnosed in Spain. 

Increases in percentage terms, however, are becoming more serious in other parts of the state, with Catalonia now having nearly 8,000 infections and over 300 dead.

It's been seven weeks since the first case of coronavirus was detected in Spain. It was on 1st February in La Gomera (Canary Islands). The second would arrive ten days later in Palma de Mallorca. Both have been discharged. Revealing, however, the first death in Spain from Covid-19 occurred on February 13th - but was not diagnosed as a case of coronavirus until over three weeks later, posthumously.


Follow our continuing updates on the coronavirus crisis in Catalan HERE