Minister Carolina Darias / EFE

Spanish regions are not reliably informing central government of positive Covid-19 infections, warns Health minister Darias

The country's coronavirus cumulative incidence rate fell on Wednesday, according to the Health Ministry, but it has questions about the accuracy of the data

ÁLVARO SOTO

After 11 weeks of rising numbers, the cumulative incidence rate of Covid-19 infections in Spain fell on Wednesday 19 January.

But Health Minister Carolina Darias has complained the autonomous regions are not consistently providing her ministry with their daily totals of positive infections and she worries that the data is incorrect.

Public Health specialists have also voiced concerns that the number of positive Covid-19 cases in Spain being underestimated, partly because people who test positive with an antigen test at home are not reporting it to their relevant health authorities.

While the Health Ministry recognises that some people will not be motivated enough to let their health authorities know about their coronavirus status, she has called on the autonomous regions to calculate daily the totals they have and to relay that information promptly to the central Health Ministry.

The Community of Madrid, for example, does not include self-reported positives in its tally, and Darias warns that this distorts national data.

Without reliable data she added that it is impossible to know what prevention measures, such as wearing a mask, must be enforced or relaxed.

“It is the second day of descent, but the important thing is the trend. When the drop in positives is consolidated, we will be in a position to take the next steps. We have already reached the peak of the wave or we are very close," said Darias.