By Alyssa McMurtry
OVIEDO, Spain (AA) - Spain suffered its deadliest day since mid-April in the novel coronavirus outbreak on Tuesday, with the Health Ministry reporting another 537 fatalities.
Spain's official COVID-19 death toll now sits at 43,668 -- up nearly 2,000 from one week ago.
Although deaths continue to mount at tragic speed, the number of new infections and hospitalizations have continued to drop.
On Tuesday, the Health Ministry reported 12,228 more infections, down by nearly 1,000 compared to last Tuesday.
The number of active hospitalizations dropped by almost 1,000 compared to Monday, with 16,701 people currently being treated for the disease in Spain's hospitals.
Yet, the pressure is still dangerously high in the country's intensive care units (ICUs), where 29% of all available beds are still occupied by those battling COVID-19.
Andalusian politician Elias Bendodo said Monday that in Granada, which has been one of the hardest-hit regions this autumn, research has found that around 65% of all people in ICUs had been infected by their children.
To raise awareness among young people about the toll the virus can take, a hospital in the Basque Country has begun organizing tours of its ICUs for university students.
Meanwhile, Spain's King Felipe VI is in 10-day confinement after a close friend tested positive for the virus.
Besides the direct health effects, the pandemic continues to cripple Spain's economy.
New data from the country's Social Security body found that October closed with almost 100,000 fewer active businesses than in October 2019 -- a loss of almost 7% of all the country's companies.
Nearly 60,000 businesses have resumed activity since the lowest point in April, but the second wave of the pandemic has provoked more closures, particularly in the hospitality sector.