The Spanish region of Catalonia may have twice the official number of deaths reported so far by the Spanish government, according to new data from the region’s department of health.
Funeral homes have reported a total of 7,097 coronavirus deaths in Catalonia up to Wednesday, which includes the regional capital Barcelona. But available data from the Spanish Health Ministry had total coronavirus deaths in Catalonia at 3,756 up to Wednesday morning.
Of these 7,097 deaths, 1,810 people died in elderly people’s homes. CNN has previously reported that a large number of deaths in these facilities were being unreported in national figures.
The regional health department explained in a statement that these increases were a result of new counting methods that now include deaths in people’s residences and at nursing homes. Previously the figures only included deaths in hospital.
The number of coronavirus infections could also be 55,000 higher than previously reported in the region. While the Spanish government figures show 36,505 total confirmed cases in Catalonia, the region’s department of health says there are 39,375 positive cases confirmed by diagnostic testing and a further 55,457 cases of people with symptoms, but only diagnosed by a medical professional.
Barcelona, Spain’s second-largest city, is one of the regions worst-affected by Covid-19.
The Spanish government has previously explained that their figures are compiled from data submitted by regional health departments.