Monday, 29 November 2021

Spain Covid-19 death count ‘may be thousands short’

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MADRID: Spain’s coronavirus death toll soared past 19,000 with another 551 deaths, but questions over the counting method have raised some regional concerns the real figure is much higher.

After nearly five weeks of confinement, the rise in deaths and infections has slowed over the past fortnight, with the overnight fatalities taking the toll to 19,130.

But regional authorities in Madrid and Catalonia said they each had thousands more victims than the official count.

“The real number of deaths is difficult to know,” said Fernando Simon, the health ministry’s emergencies coordinator.

The daily figure was compiled from information provided by regional authorities concerning deaths among patients who “had tested positive for coronavirus”, he said.

Between them, Madrid and Catalonia account for 56 per cent of the national toll, but some officials say the numbers are flawed for not including all those who have died outside of hospital.

Madrid has counted 6,877 deaths but on Wednesday a top official said the true figure was likely to be more than 10,000.

In Catalonia, where 3,855 people have died, the real number could be higher than 7,000 — prompting the regional government to announce changes to its counting method.

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