While Spain’s official death toll jumped by 567 to 18,056 on Tuesday, the number of new contagions reached an unprecedented level since March 20.
On Monday, Spain’s Health Minister Salvador Illa said the recent data confirms that Spain has overcome the most acute part of the crisis.
“We’ve reached the peak and the goal this week is to reach the next phase,” he said.
The next milestone will be reaching the number of recovered cases outpacing new infections — something that has not happened since the beginning of the crisis.
Today, with 3,045 new contagions and 2,777 people recovering, the country is getting tantalizingly close to that goal. In total, 172,541 people have been diagnosed with the disease and 67,504 have recovered in Spain.
Testing will play a major role in containment and the government will soon launch an epidemiological study, taking samples from 62,400 people around the country, to try to determine the extent of the infection.
Currently, only essential workers or people with severe symptoms who need to be hospitalized are able to get a test.
Last night, the government also decreed that all private laboratories will now be at the disposal of the country’s various regional governments to carry out COVID-19 testing.
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Spain remains under a strict lockdown, but on Monday millions of non-essential workers were allowed to return to their jobs in sectors like manufacturing and construction.
Monday was a holiday in several parts of Spain, so on Tuesday; regions like Catalonia are seeing workers back on the job for the first time in weeks.
The virus has spread to 185 countries, infecting more than 1.92 million people since first emerging in Wuhan, China late last year. The global death toll is over 119,800, while more than 458,500 people have recovered.