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AFP
October 24, 2020

‘Real number’ of Spain virus cases over 3m

World

AFP
October 24, 2020

MADRID: The “real number” of coronavirus cases in Spain is more than three million, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Friday, urging people to limit their movements as much as possible.

Spain, a nation of around 47 million people, on Wednesday officially became the first European Union nation—and only the sixth in the world—to surpass one million confirmed Covid-19 infections.

But Sanchez said in a televised address that “seroprevalence studies indicate that the actual number of people who have been infected in our country exceeds three million compatriots”.

“The situation is serious and we must all with determination, social discipline and the necessary union to protect the public health of everyone.”

Sanchez said the actual number of infections is higher than the official figure because the number of cases detected at the start of the pandemic was very low.

Spain was now detecting “the majority of cases”, around 70 per cent, compared to just 10 per cent during the first wave of the pandemic, he added.

Like other nations Spain has carried out antibody studies, also known as seroprevalence research, to get a clearer understanding of the size of an outbreak and where it is spreading in order to guide decisions on how to contain it.

The virus has so far claimed nearly 35,000 lives in Spain, according to the latest heath ministry toll published on Thursday.