Spain reported Tuesday a one-day increase of 194 new diagnosed coronavirus infections from the previous day.
Remember: Spain’s Health Ministry instituted a new country-wide system for reporting and tracking coronavirus cases two weeks ago, resulting in a sharp recalculation of infections and deaths. The total figure for cumulative infections confirmed by PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) tests since the start of the pandemic now stands at more than 236,000, according to the ministry’s data.
What changed: Under the new system, health authorities in Spain say infections are now calculated on the day they are diagnosed — not the day they are reported, which has resulted in this week’s fluctuating numbers. Some Spanish media have been wryly calling this “the data dance”.
In one example of the new reporting, an additional 35 new deaths have been added to the figures published Tuesday, however, these deaths occurred over the past week, according to the country’s health ministry.
Spain’s latest death toll figure of at least 27,117 is lower than what was previously reported by the by the Health Ministry. This is because the ministry recalculated the overall figure Monday and nearly 2,000 deaths were suddenly removed from the tally.
A top Spanish health official, Dr. Fernando Simón said on Monday that the withdrawn cases from the total were not confirmed Covid-19 deaths and therefore did not meet the Health Ministry’s updated criteria to be included in the total count.
Simón added that the purpose of the revised tally “is to evaluate the pace of the epidemic in the past seven days,” so that medical personnel across the country can have more current data in real time.
The Health Ministry website says the discrepancy between previously reported numbers and those being reported now could persist for several days, as a consequence of a “new strategy of diagnosis, monitoring and control of the transition phase of the Covid-19 pandemic.”