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how many coronavirus infected are there in Spain and why is the data important

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Updated:04/09/2020 02: 10h

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How many people have already passed the coronavirus in Spain? The answer to this question is one of the keys that will determine the time horizon for the return to “normality” in our country. Last Sunday, at a press conference, the director of the Center for Coordination of Health Alerts and Emergencies (CCAES), María José Sierra, claimed that the Ministry of Health, along with other entities, were working on a study with rapid tests to know in “a few weeks” the number of people immunized against the coronavirus in Spain.

The announcement was made after Germany reported that it was going to perform 3,000 blood tests on random citizens in the city of Munich to try to extrapolate the actual percentage of coronavirus-infected in the country.

«If the test is done as announced to a representative sample of 30,000 Spanish families We will know the percentage that the infection has passed and therefore it would have antibodies they would probably be protective against future reinfections. That it is done with such a large sample will allow to objectify a percentage with adjusted intervals. If low percentages were obtained it would mean that there is a large population that could suffer from the infection and therefore the preventive measures already known to all should continue, “he points out. Joan A. Caylà, former head of the Epidemiology service of the Barcelona Public Health agency and president of the UITB foundation.

In Spain, despite the fact that the official data this Wednesday was 146,690 infected and 48,021 recovered, The truth is that the figure may be far from reality since there are several factors to take into account, such as the limited capacity to carry out diagnostic tests, as well as the fact that they have been infected asymptomatic or mild cases that have not needed to see a doctor.

“The confirmed cases are just the tip of the icebergThey are basically cases attended in hospitals and to which the test has been carried out. Therefore, from the outset, cases attended in primary care and asymptomatic patients who have suffered the infection and can spread are escaped. Those confirmed therefore are a small percentage in relation to the total number of infected», Explains Caylà.

Estimates so far

While waiting for the tests announced by Sierra to be carried out, several investigations have been published on the number of infected in our country, which are shifting figures ranging from three million to seven.

One of the most widespread has been the one carried out by the Imperial College London (United Kingdom) who estimated that until March 28 in Spain she was infected 15% of the population, which was equivalent to 6.99 million people.

According to these figures, Spain would be the most affected European country, followed by Italy with 5.9 million cases (9.8% of the population). For its part, just 0.72% of the German population would have the virus, some 600,000 people. In France, there would be around two million affected, 3% of the citizens; and in the United Kingdom 1.79 million people, 2.7% of the total.

Paradoxically, the fact that our country has the highest percentage would be positive since it would mean that we have more people immune to the disease.

The estimate made by Imperial College is quite close to the data that emerged from the last macro-survey carried out by a team of Spanish researchers, led by the expert in Artificial Intelligence, Nuria Oliver, of the Royal Academy of Engineering of Madrid and the European Laboratory of Learning and Intelligent Systems (ELLIS).

According to the report, up to 17% of participants claimed to have at least one of the most relevant symptoms of coronavirus disease, and 6.5% also indicated having one of the most severe symptoms (fever, cough, and shortness of breath). Also, when participants were asked if they had had the Covid-19 test, 92.4% indicated that they did not feel the need to do it, however, 6.4% said that their doctor had recommended it. , but that there was no test available.

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