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For the first time in nearly two weeks, the Spanish Ministry of Health has updated its official total of coronavirus deaths. The pandemic, as of yesterday, has left a total of 28,313 dead in Spain, according to the health ministry's numbers. Since June 7th, the total figure had been frozen; prior to that, in the period from May 11th, figures were simply added to the previous day's total. The sudden update has resulted in the deaths of 1,177 people being added to the statistics. As always with the official Spanish figures, these are the cases confirmed via PCR tests, which officials acknowledge will leave out some whose deaths were caused by Covid-19. No breakdown of deaths that occuured in ICUs or care homes is given.

Thus, although new deaths have not been transparently reported in recent days, they have continued to occur. Since June 7th, when Spain stopped reporting its total, 115 people have died from coronavirus. The daily figures have shown a downward trend in this time, from 23 deaths on June 10th to two deaths this Wednesday - although as the health ministry noted, its system means that the last few days of statistics are likely to be altered slightly in the future when late-recorded deaths are added to the series. As for the other 1,062 deaths which have been added to the overall total, the vast majority are fatalities which occurred earlier in the pandemic that have now been confirmed with data from the autonomous communities and relocated in the historical series.

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By contrast with these figures, the Spain's Mortality Monitoring System (MoMo) recorded an excess mortality of 43,360 between March 13th and May 22nd, compared to the historical average of deaths for that period. The Spanish government points out that 78% of this excess consists of the Covid-19 deaths confirmed by PCR, but says it is not guaranteed that the other deaths, approximately15,000, have anything to do with coronavirus. "Maybe some do, but some don't," said Dr Fernando Simón, of the Health Emergency Coordination Center. He emphasizes that the MoMo does not take into account causes of death.

Health minister Salvador Illa emphasised the "exercise in transparency" that Spain has carried out from the first minute. "From the beginning, we have made two sources of data available to the public," he said, referring to the death confirmed by PCR tests, and the MoMo figures.  

This new death toll has been obtained after revising all the past data with the information provided to the central ministry by Spain's Autonomous Communities, and ordering the information by date of death. On May 24th, the ministry reduced its total by 1,900 deaths. Now, the total will rise again, although the whole data series has been rewritten.

To date, the total number of diagnosed cases in the Spanish state is 245,268. There are 1,994 patients hospitalized and 312 in ICU units. Illa stressed that the capacity for diagnosis has increased, with an average of 40,000 PCR tests. daily. Right now there are nine active outbreaks. "They are all under control," said the health minister.


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