BARCELONA — After being ravaged by more than 15,000 coronavirus deaths, Spain might finally be over the worst of its epidemic.
On Thursday, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said it looks like the number of cases in the country is about to start falling. “This war against the virus will be a total victory,” he said. “The fire starts to come under control.”
Spain has reported 15,238 deaths, second only to Italy, though the United States is on track to overtake both. Spain has seen 152,446 cases in total, but in recent days the number of new infections has started to flatten, amid a nationwide lockdown in place since March 13.
Anna Carreres, an emergency coordinator at the Germans Trias i Pujol hospital in the Badalona municipality, near Barcelona, is seeing some change in the right direction. “These days, we don’t see anyone that says, 'I’ve had a fever since yesterday.' The people who come to see us are people who started having symptoms seven or eight days ago, and that’s a period when the disease starts complicating.”
Dr. Carreres noted the mortality rate in the hospital has fallen, and more patients are getting discharged from the ICU. “This is quite a respite for us, since the biggest problem we’ve had over the past few days is being able to care for patients in need of intensive care,” she said.
To continue preventing the spread of the virus, Spain is planning to adopt broad testing, even for people not showing symptoms, and its lockdown remains in place until April 26-- though Prime Minister Sanchez has hinted it could be eased if cases continue to drop.