What reasons can be given for the continuous rise in Spain’s Coronavirus death toll?
SPAIN’S daily death toll reached a devastating new high of 769 yesterday, bringing the total number of fatalities to almost 5,000.
Fresh cases of coronavirus-related infections did drop, from a record total on Thursday of 8,578 to 7,871 on Friday. But both numbers are far worse than a week ago, when new cases stood at 2,833.
Another unnerving fact is that compared with Italy, where 8 per cent of health workers are affected, in Spain by Friday that tally stood at 16.5 per cent.
One of the main reasons is Spain’s public health service’s lack of resources for tackling this pandemic.
“As recently as Wednesday, the Centre for Disease Prevention and Control in Europe pointed out that the impact of Covid-19 depended on a country’s level of preparation and its ability to implement rapid countermeasures,” said Silvia Carlos Chilleron, a professor in the department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at the University of Navarra.
“If the increase in cases has been fast, as it has been in Spain, and the human and material resources to fight it are not guaranteed, then the impact is more serious. That probably causes a greater number of deaths among the most vulnerable sectors of society, particularly when medical professionals are among those affected.”
Also on Wednesday, Spain’s State Confederation of Medical Unions (CESM) lodged a case asking the health ministry to provide sufficient protective equipment as soon as possible.
In their case, which was rejected, they pointed out that the ministry had so far failed to provide health workers with sufficient protection to carry out their work in a manner that reduces the risk of catching coronavirus.
Spanish population distribution may also have an effect, observed Alberto Mataran, a professor of Environmental Sciences at the University of Granada.
“There’s a huge density of people in cities like Madrid or on the Mediterranean coast in particular, and a lot of blocks of flats in cities’ outlying suburbs, add in a lot of communal spaces, a very affectionate kind of social behaviour compared to some countries – we always shake hands, or hug, or kiss each other, when we meet, for example – and the opportunities for propagation surely could increase, too.”