Spanish health officials have expressed cautious optimism that the peak of the coronavirus epidemic in the country is in sight.
“We are approaching, we do not know exactly when we will have confirmation, but we are reaching the peak of the curve,” the director of Spain’s Center for Health Emergencies Fernando Simón said at a news conference in Madrid.
Simón pointed to figures showing slight declines in the percentage increase of fatalities, even as the actual number continues to rise.
“Unfortunately, there is still an increase in deaths. But it is true that the evolution over time remains more or less in what has been observed in recent days,” he said. “According to various indicators, the disease is stabilizing. Although they are preliminary data, in some areas of the country the peak may have been reached, although at the national level we cannot confirm anything.”
Simón warned that the pressure on intensive care units would worsen. Patients infected today, he said, may need an ICU bed within the next seven to ten days. The peak need may come in the next week, he said.
By the numbers: At the same briefing, Patricia Lacruz, a senior official in Spain’s National Health and Pharmacy System, said that more than 1.5 million masks would be distributed this weekend. Over the last two days, several flights have arrived in Spain carrying personal protective equipment for health service workers.
On trials for the treatment of coronavirus, María Jesús Lamas Díaz, director of the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products, said 4,000 people would participate in authorized trials over the next few weeks.