Spain's daily death toll for coronavirus falls

Spain's daily death toll for coronavirus falls

The daily number of coronavirus deaths in Spain has slightly dropped from 567 to 523, the health ministry says, as the country is ramping up tests that could further ease tough restrictions. 

Spain is one of the worst-affected countries in the world with the highest number of deaths at 18,579, with only the United States and Italy reporting higher death toll.

Yet there is growing evidence that the government continues to flatten the death and infection curve.

The official count of cases rose from 172,541 the day before to 177,633 Wednesday, the ministry said.

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said efforts were underway to speed up testing, gain a tighter grasp on disease spread, and develop a plan to emerge from a lockdown that has kept most Spaniards in their homes since mid-March.

The loosening of restrictions began this week when it allowed several non-essential businesses to resume work.

"A group of institutions is making efforts to increase the number of tests. The number of tests made in Spain is rising," Sanchez told a near-empty parliament.

"Spain is already one of the countries making the most daily tests. More than 20,000, and we are increasing the number."

For the removal of lockout limits, officials say testing needs to be broadened to detect carriers who may have mild to no symptoms.

Image: Police officers are handing out face masks at metro and railway stations in Spain