Half of Spain’s coronavirus victims show absolutely no symptoms and continue spreading bug without knowing, study warns
HALF of Spain's coronavirus patients have never experienced any symptoms and continue spreading the bug without knowing, a new study has found.
The report by the Carlos III Health Institute also showed that most new cases fall in the 15-to-29 age bracket.
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Two out of every 10 positive cases recorded since May 10 in Spain – when the country began to ease its lockdown rules – were adolescents or young adults, the survey says.
Of the 25,600 cases analysed in the report, 40 per cent were under the age of 40, El Pais reports.
The average age of coronavirus patients has fallen from 60 in April to 48, according to the epidemiological survey 'Covid-19 Situation in Spain'.
In April, only people with serious symptoms who had been hospitalised would receive a coronavirus test in Spain.
But now that tests have become more widespread, a large number of asymptomatic cases are being detected in the country.
According to the report, 55 per cent of people who tested positive for the bug have never experienced any coronavirus symptoms.
The survey also reveals that 37 per cent of patients did not know where they contracted the virus.
The poll shows that one in four infections (25 per cent) happened at home.
Other common settings for contracting Covid-19 were social service residences (12.1 per cent), workplace (11.1 per cent) and medical centres (6.1 per cent).
The report also shows that 25 cases (0.2 per cent of the total cases polled) occurred in schools.
It is compulsory to wear face masks in public at all times in Spain – even when social distancing measures can be respected.
This includes transport hubs, sidewalks cafes, restaurant and shops.
Spain has recorded 329,721 coronavirus cases and 28,441 deaths, according to the latest data.
But earlier this week, an investigation found the Covid-19 death toll in Spain could be 60 per cent higher than the official tally because of substandard counting.
The nation's official figure has been called into question after it was found to account for only those formally diagnosed and not suspected cases who were never tested.
A lack of widespread testing, particularly in the early stages of the outbreak, means the official count could underestimate the virus’ toll, according to an investigation by El Pais published on Sunday.
If accurate, that would make Spain’s outbreak the second deadliest in Europe after Britain’s.
"The truth is that the epidemiological situation in Spain is very uneven," the investigation reports.
Last week, the UK Government removed Spain from the list of safe countries coming back from which people do not need to quarantine.
The Foreign Office's website says the decision was made after assessing the coronavirus risks in the country.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez slammed the British Government's decision to force tourists returning home from Spain to isolate for two weeks.
He said the spike in new coronavirus cases in Spain was a regional problem.
“It’s true that on a global level the coronavirus pandemic continues to show a very worrying development and at European level as well, but in Spain the spread of the virus is not occurring in a uniform way," he said.
“Sixty-two per cent of the new cases are occurring in two regions but in the majority of the country, the cumulative incidence of the virus is lower than the European average and the UK average.”
Mr Sanchez called on British authorities to reconsider their decision and possibly making an exception for tourist areas such as the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands, which have seen lower infection rates.
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