IN a press conference today, Spain’s Health Minister Salvador Ella officially declared that Spain is in ‘stabilisation phase’ of containing the coronavirus outbreak and that ‘we are heading in the right direction.’
Also taking part in the daily press conference remotely, Fernando Simón, the Director of Coordination Centre for Health Alerts Health at the Ministry of Health, said: “The data indicates that we have already reached the peak and that we are on the way down the curve.”
The challenge, however, is to avoid the collapse of Spain’s health system, by “dramatically reducing the number of patients in hospital and in intensive care,” he stated. Nearly, 6,000 patients in Spain have needed intensive care unit (ICU) treatment to date.
On Sunday, Simón said that the ICUs would see their “toughest moments at the end of this week or the beginning of the next,” but hoped the stricter restrictions introduced on Monday would help to slow the arrival of patients in ICUs, which were reaching full capacity. However, he now believes “the data seems to indicate that we are heading in the right direction.”
To date, 102,136 people in Spain have tested positive for Covid-19, with 7,719 new cases and 864 deaths registered in the last 24 hours. Spain’s death toll from the disease has soared to 9,053, and is the worst in the world after Italy, which has recorded a staggering 12,400-plus deaths.
Despite the harrowing number of Covid-deaths and patients in critical condition in Spain’s hospitals, particularly in Madrid, there are indications that the pressure is easing off, especially in ICUs. Hospitals chiefs believe the additional quarantine restrictions are paying off.
According to the President of the Spanish Medical Society for Emergencies, Juan Armengol, “There is a general impression that the number of patients are falling. Numbers in ICU have fallen in Madrid, while the rise has moderated or been halted in other regions, such as Catalonia.”
Torrejón de Ardoz Hospital’s Chief of Intensive Medicine, María Cruz Martín Delgado also confirmed that the pressure appears to be easing off. “In the last 48 hours, not only are emergency cases down, but admissions on the wards and in ICU have fallen, from four or five a day to just two,” she stated. The hospital had also received a patient from another hospital because it had a spare bed in the ICU, “something that would have been unthinkable a week ago,” she noted.
According to Miquel Porta, Professor of Public Health at the Barcelona Autonomous University, this data “indicates that the government’s measures are starting to bear fruit.”