OVIEDO, Spain

Spain Thursday reported the biggest daily tally of COVID-19 cases this summer, with the Health Ministry confirming 7,039 new infections.

More cases were diagnosed on Wednesday in Madrid than any other Spanish region, followed by the Basque Country, Aragon and Andalusia, respectively.

Over the last two weeks, nearly 67,000 Spaniards have tested positive for the infectious disease — more than half of all infections registered since the country entered into the so-called new normal on June 21.

As a consequence, hospitalizations are increasing with 758 new COVID-19 patients being admitted to hospital over the last 24 hours. Nationally, 4.3% of all hospital beds are taken up by COVID-19 patients although the figure jumps to 13.4% in Aragon and 9.5% in Madrid.

Another 16 COVID-19 deaths were also reported.

Spain has confirmed nearly 378,000 cases and around 28,800 deaths so far.

“Don’t be confused, things are not going well,” said Spain’s chief epidemiologist in a news conference on Thursday, departing from his habitually optimistic tone.

On Wednesday night, it was announced that the central government will meet with regional leaders on Aug. 27 to tackle the back-to-school plan for September.

While most regions are managing to deal with the number of cases for now, doctors in Madrid are warning that primary health care in the region “is on the edge of collapse.”

A joint statement released on Thursday by primary care doctor unions in Spain’s capital region accused the regional government “of dangerously ignoring” the need to hire more primary care doctors who can help track COVID-19 cases and contacts, order tests and be the first contact for both COVID-19 and other patients.

They say that a lack of personnel is leading to serious delays in diagnosing new COVID-19 cases in Madrid, which was already the worst-hit region during Spain’s first wave this spring.

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