Spain continues to lead Europe in terms of new coronavirus infections and hospitalizations are beginning to rise fast with 922 more COVID-19 patients admitted in the past 24 hours, according to data published by the Ministry of Health on Wednesday.
Currently, more than 5,903 COVID-19 patients are being treated in hospitals, occupying 5.5% of the country’s hospital beds. That is a 1.1% increase from six days ago when the data was first published.
In Madrid, where 13.6% of hospital beds are being used by COVID-19 patients, one of the main hospitals has prepared its gymnasium to begin caring for those with the infectious disease.
Several hospitals around the country have suspended non-urgent surgeries.
Deaths are also accelerating with 47 new fatalities reported, bringing the confirmed death toll to 28,971.
The Ministry of Health confirmed nearly 7,300 new cases but it did not include data from Valencia due to technical reasons.
Valencia broke its all-time daily record for confirmed contagions, according to the local health authority, which reported 772 new cases.
Andalusia also reported its highest number of new confirmed cases since the pandemic began with 846.
One of the biggest outbreaks in the southern region is in a nursing home where 106 people have tested positive for the virus.
Testing capacity across the country, however, has increased around six-fold since April and authorities are catching a much higher number of infections than they did in spring.
A new poll conducted by the government-backed Carlos III Health Institute found that 42% of Spaniards believe the worst is yet to come in terms of the pandemic.
At the same time, 30% of the respondents said they had their doubts about whether or not they would get vaccinated when a vaccine becomes available, which could complicate Spain’s effort to fight the virus in the long-term.
Meanwhile, Spanish Health Minister Salvador Illa told La Sexta broadcaster that he expects the first doses of the Oxford vaccine to be available in the country at the end of the year.
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