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The death toll from the Spanish coronavirus rises to 19,478 as the number of new cases increases for the third day in a row

The death toll from the Spanish coronavirus has risen to 19,478, with the government reporting 585 new fatalities in the past 24 hours.

The number of new infections rose again more than the day before, with 5,252 new positive tests. This is higher than yesterday’s figure of 5,183, marking the third consecutive day of increases after it started to drop earlier in the week.

However, the total number of deaths in the country on Thursday was recorded as 19,130, which contradicts the Spanish government’s new deadly data of 585.

The new figure of 19,478 suggests 348 deaths have been recorded since yesterday, less than the figure released by the government, which acknowledges the discrepancy, saying that a revised counting mechanism made the figure difficult to compare with previous daily tolls.

Overnight, it released revised guidelines for reporting deaths to make the data more uniform for the country’s 17 autonomous regions, in an apparent move to eliminate deaths where the patient had not been tested for COVID-19 .

This methodology has proved controversial with Madrid and Catalonia, the two hardest hit regions, who insisted this week that there were thousands more victims than the official census.

This chart shows the daily number of coronavirus cases registered in Spain. Today's figure of 5,252 was higher than yesterday's 5,183 and the highest in a week

This chart shows the daily number of coronavirus cases registered in Spain. Today’s figure of 5,252 was higher than yesterday’s 5,183 and the highest in a week

According to Spanish news source El Diathe discrepancy in the figures was noted during a press conference given by Fernando Simón, a Spanish epidemiologist who serves as director of the Center for Coordination of Health Alerts and Emergencies of the Ministry of Health

Simón said the ministry is “trying to correct the historical series” of data to make it more uniform across regions in Spain, saying that the figures are “slightly distorted” by running quick tests, an alternative to standard PCR tests.

President of the Spanish opposition party, PP (People’s Party) Pablo Casado, regretting the confusion about the figures on Twitter, said: “It is regrettable that the government today casts doubt on the number of deaths. It refuses to make a decision to mourn and forbids its mayors to do so. ‘

The number of commonly confirmed coronavirus cases increased from 188,816 on Thursday to 188,068 on Friday, up 2.9% from 5,252.

The increase in the number of cases was greater than the day before, with 5,183 new positive tests. Today’s figure is the highest for a week in the country.

The total number of deaths in Spain is the third highest in the world after the United States and Italy.

Spain has been closed since March 14 and plans to expand its testing capacity to over 20,000 a day to lift it in certain areas.

Health workers in protective clothing treat patients on ventilators in the intensive care unit of Povisa Hospital in Vigo, northwestern Spain

Health workers in protective clothing treat patients on ventilators in the intensive care unit of Povisa Hospital in Vigo, northwestern Spain

Health workers in protective clothing treat patients on ventilators in the intensive care unit of Povisa Hospital in Vigo, northwestern Spain

Madrid was again the hardest hit area for new business in Spain at 1,299, compared to 1,168 yesterday. Catalonia had another 962, according to the Spanish Ministry of Health, compared to 849 yesterday.

About 60 percent of the deceased patients in Spain are eighty years of age or older, and nearly 87 percent are at least seventy.

The Spanish government has reported that 72,968 people have recovered from the disease in Spain.

The vast majority of cases have been confirmed by standard PCR tests, although some infections are listed under the heading ‘rapid tests’.

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has pledged to extend testing to facilitate lockdown in certain areas.

“Spain is already one of the countries that do the most daily tests. More than 20,000, and we are increasing the number, “Sanchez told an almost empty parliament yesterday.

Officials say testing for the virus should be extended to people with mild or no symptoms to monitor its spread in more detail.

The government also said last week that it will conduct massive antibody tests on the blood of 60,000 randomly chosen people for three weeks, starting with identifying those who may theoretically be immune after exposure to the virus.

However, health and virology experts are not yet sure about the quality of such tests or the immunity such antibodies can provide.

Britain and Germany are among many countries that love antibody testing but have not yet identified any reliable ones.

Today’s 5,252 cases mark a second consecutive day of increase after 5,183 yesterday and 3,045 on Thursday, the lowest since March 20.

Some inflation can be attributed to a lag compared to the long Easter weekend, which has also been revealed in figures from other countries.

The Spanish government wants to resume all businesses as soon as possible, especially in the run-up to what would normally be the tourist season.

The International Monetary Fund has said that the Spanish economy is likely to suffer an eight percent slump this year, due in part to the collapse of tourism.

A healthcare system is depicted using coronavirus test kits in a laboratory at the Clinica CEMTRO in Madrid, Spain on Thursday

A healthcare system is depicted using coronavirus test kits in a laboratory at the Clinica CEMTRO in Madrid, Spain on Thursday

A healthcare system is depicted using coronavirus test kits in a laboratory at the Clinica CEMTRO in Madrid, Spain on Thursday

Spain’s debt-to-GDP ratio is projected to reach 113 percent, the highest level in over a century, with a budget deficit of 9.5 percent, the largest in the eurozone.

The IMF said unemployment, already the highest in the European Union, would rise from nearly 14 percent last year to nearly 21 percent.

“That unemployment is not sustainable,” said Luis de Guindos, Vice President of the European Central Bank, to Onda Cero radio.

Some workers have resumed their jobs in sectors such as construction and manufacturing after a two-week hibernation last week.

However, since most people are still at home, other businesses such as shops, bars and restaurants will remain closed until at least April 26.

The government said on Wednesday that it would hold meetings with opposition leaders on a “pact for Spain’s social and economic reconstruction.”

The proposal was inspired by the 1977 ‘Pacts of Moncloa’, which aimed to transform the state economy after the end of Franco’s dictatorship.

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