In one of the most encouraging signs that strict social distancing measures are the best way to slow the spread of coronavirus, Spain has reported a lower daily death count for the third straight day.
It’s important to understand that today’s death count is largely a reflection of measures taken at least 2-3 weeks ago. Since it takes an average of 5.1 days for coronavirus symptoms to emerge, and then another 1-3 weeks before most pass away from symptoms, people in areas enforcing social distancing should not be put off by short-term increases in fatalities.
Spain is one of the best examples of this. It’s been about 3 weeks since Spain issued its national lockdown on March 14th. It’s taken a few weeks to get to this point, but after peaking at 961 deaths on April 2, the nation has seen declining totals of 850 and 749 on April 3 and April 4. While the day has a few hours remaining in Spain, officials are confident that today’s total will be lower than yesterday’s.
In an equally encouraging sign, it also appears that the number of new cases has dropped during this same period. After announcing 7,949 new cases on April 2, the case totals on April 3 and April 4 were both lower, at 7134 and 6969. A third straight day of lower new cases, once they’ve been reported, would be another encouraging sign that social distance is the most effective means of preventing the spread of COVID-19.
Spain has the second-highest number of confirmed cases in the world, with 130,759 as of 1pm ET today. This news would be welcomed by the country’s citizens, but there’s still a very long road ahead. As a result, the country has extended its national lockdown until at least April 25th.
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