Spanish Health Minister Salvador Illa said on Thursday that despite the recent increases in confirmed cases and deaths from coronavirus over the last few days, Spain is approaching a “stabilization phase” with a change in the trend of coronavirus infection and fatalities that suggests the country could be nearing the peak of the contagion curve.
“The number of cases is approaching its maximum, what we usually call the peak of the curve,” Illa said during an appearance before the Health Commission of the Congress of Deputies. The Health Minister added that “the hospitalized cases and those in ICU (intensive care) will reach their maximum peak a few days after the overall peak falls, in early April.”
Illa’s remarks came as Fernando Simón, director of the Center for Coordination of Health Alerts and Emergencies, revealed in the Health Ministry’s daily press conference that over the previous 24 hours, 655 people had died from coronavirus in Spain, representing a slight drop of 83 fatalities from the previous reported 24-hour period.
The total number of deaths due to coronavirus in Spain as of Thursday stood at 4,089, an increase of 19 percent in 24 hours, also representing a slight drop in the rate of increase of total cases, which had been running at between 25-30 percent over previous days.
Spanish health authorities have registered a total of 56,188 cases of people infected by the virus to date, Simón said. As of Thursday’s figures, Spain was still the country with the second-greatest number of deaths from coronavirus, having surpassed China in total fatalities on Wednesday but still lagging Italy.
Also on Thursday, Simón acknowledged that Spain’s Health Ministry has had to return 9,000 rapid-test kits purchased from a company in China because they did not meeting quality-control standards. Authorities in China said that the company that sold the defective test kits to Spain is not licensed.
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