After putting their death toll on hold for a number of days, Spain now faces speculations that they are hiding the real numbers and severity of the coronavirus pandemic in the country.

According to Rte.ie, Spain has recently announced that more than 27,000 people have already died from COVID-19 in their country. The emergency coordinator of the country's health ministry has also acknowledged the fact that the figure has caused both confusion and astonishment.

It was also reported that on May 25, the health ministry has changed its way of collecting the data and confirmed fatalities and cases. They initially reported a death toll of 50 to 100 on a daily basis.

However, the said figures continued to decline as the days passed until there were no daily deaths reported at all. This was even supported by the statement of the country's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez who informed the parliament that there were no fatalities that have been recorded for several days.

Sanchez's statement then earned backlash and many have accused the prime minister of not telling the truth about the severity of the epidemic.

An expert in health sciences, Salvador Macip has already warned people that there is danger in releasing such information because, despite the fact that there is a very low rate on infection in the country at present, the virus is still there.

Read also: COVID-19 Fatality Rate is Low: Stanford Statistician Says It is Not as Deadly as We Thought

Discrepancy in figures prompted the freezing of death count

According to Simon, the new system that they are developing aims to facilitate a faster way of detecting and isolating new cases. He also added that a detailed breakdown of the fresh cases will be provided by regions, instead of sending them all together in lumps.

However, he also said that discrepancies in the numbers reported have prompted them to freeze the release of the country's overall death count. He also said that the discrepancies can be attributed to the delay in the data submission of certain regions.

In a report by Rappler, it was stated that Spain's death toll has stayed at 27,136 since the 7th of June. Simon also added that authorities are still reviewing the information on the death rate before there will be able to give precise, accurate, and updated information.

But Simon's statement was challenged by some regional areas who claimed that all required data has already been submitted to the ministry, but some were not reflected in the overall account of the deaths.

More speculations rose after the Carlos III Health Institute and National Statistics Institute (INE) published this week that the number of deaths in the country is between 43,000-44,000 more than their average mortality rate in the past years. Thus, many have concluded that the increase in annual deaths is proof that the government is downplaying the death toll.

Government insists they are not hiding anything

However, the Spanish government continues to insist that they are not hiding the true density of COVID-19 deaths in the country, saying that the "excess mortality" had other causes or could be suspected COVID-19 but were never confirmed.

Ildefonso Hernández, the Spanish Society of Public Health's spokesman said that the government is not hiding anything but also acknowledged that it is not communicating effectively and clearly.


Related article: Fact Check: Is the COVID-19 Pandemic a False Alarm?