Covid-19 still Spain’s leading cause of death this year

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The number of deaths associated with the COVID-19 pandemic fell by almost a third in Spain in the first half of this year from a year ago, but the illness provoked by the virus remained the leading cause of fatalities, official data showed on Monday.

Spain’s statistics agency INE said 20,915 people died from COVID-19 in the first half of 2022, according to provisional data, down from 29,300 during the same period in 2021.

In all of last year, COVID-19 killed 39,444 people, a 35% drop from 2020, and Spain registered 32,041 deaths more than in 2019, the year before the pandemic started.

Total deaths from the virus since the start of the pandemic reached 135,857 in Spain as of the end of June 2022. The spreading of the virus has slowed down significantly in the second half of 2022 after the latest wave of the highly contagious Omicron variant subsided.

The INE also said the number of suicides rose by 5.1% in the first half of 2022 from a year earlier, to register 2,015 deaths,  the most among any external cause such as falls, drownings and car accidents.