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The expansion of the new SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019, continues to slow down. Still, four million people in more than 185 countries around the world have already been diagnosed with covid-19. Of these, more than 1,400,000 have already been cured and 283,000 have lost their lives. Little by little, the most affected countries begin to de-escalate the containment measures with slight openings and with an eye always on the number of new confirmed cases continuing to decline.
Situation in Spain
Spain is the second country in the world with the most detected cases, behind the United States. The first positive on Spanish soil was confirmed on January 31, but it was from March when the diagnoses began to increase exponentially. The following graph shows the total number of positive cases detected through the PCR test and the antibody test and the latest data from positive tests of asymptomatic patients reported by the Ministry of Health.
The stabilization of the confirmed cases, which continues to decline, led the Government to present a phased plan for the exit of the confinement on April 29, the de-escalation of which began on average in Spain on May 11. The first relief from confinement was on April 26, when the children were able to make limited outings to the street. Later, those over 14 years old were also able to go for a walk and do sports within certain time frames that the Executive set according to age. Another positive sign is that the variation in growth of these cases from day to day is decreasing. In a month and a half it has gone from daily growth of more than 42% to less than 1%.
All the autonomous communities, in addition to Ceuta and Melilla, register cases of infected people. Madrid continues to be the great center of the pandemic in Spain, with more than 69,000 positives and 8,500 deaths, followed by Catalonia, which exceeds 53,000 confirmed and accumulates more than 5,500 deaths. Although the situation is not the same in all of Spain, since the disease runs at a different speed in each place, income in the emergency services has decreased.
It is important to understand that we are talking about confirmed cases. By using this metric, we are measuring two phenomena at the same time: the actual increase in infected and the ability to detect them by the authorities. As of February 25, for example, cases in Spain skyrocketed because people with pneumonia of unknown origin began testing for covid-19. That is why to keep up with the epidemic we must also look at the death curves, since the confirmed number is sensitive to the quality and quantity of the tests. We can also use doubling time, an indicator that shows how many days the number of infections is doubling. The higher this number means that it takes longer for the disease to spread.
Incidence by age and sex
95% of fatalities in Spain are over 60 years old, according to cases in which the age group has been notified, according to the Ministry of Health. Of these, the highest percentage of deaths is from the age of 80. As previous investigations advanced, the disease is more lethal in men than in women and, under the age of 50, there are hardly any fatalities. As for infected people, in global terms, the majority of those affected are from the age of 40. Of these, the age range between 50 and 59 years is the one that adds the most cases. There are hardly any infections among minors.
In the world
The focus of the pandemic is no longer in the Chinese province of Hubei, where it was first detected in late 2019 and where there are hardly any local infections. The United States is the country with the most positives, followed by Spain and Italy. In Asia, Iran is particularly concerned, having overtaken China in diagnosed cases and re-applying restrictions on citizens and businesses. In Africa, countries are gradually recording a slight but unstoppable increase in cases. South Africa, Egypt, Morocco and Algeria exceed 5,000 infected.
As in Spain, other European countries have started with deconfinition measures. However, the virus has hit Europe hard, where it has already spread to more than one million seven hundred thousand people. Only in Italy, the second country after Spain with the most registered cases, totaling 219,000 positives and 30,500 deaths. The United Kingdom is the country with the highest number of deaths: 32,000.
The United States, with 1.33 million people diagnosed, is the new epicenter, becoming the country in the world with the most positive identified. Also with more deceased: over 79,000 dead. The virus also infects the population of other American countries. Brazil is the second most positive (162,000), followed by Canada, Peru, Ecuador, Mexico and Chile. All of them accumulate several tens of thousands of detected cases, under constant fear that the rate of new infections, as happened in Europe, will begin to increase exponentially.
Daniele Grasso He has collaborated in the preparation of this report.
Sources: Ministry of Health of Spain (data from Spain) and John Hopkins University (data from other countries).