Madrid, Mar. 29(BNA): Spain set a new grim record amid the novel coronavirus outbreak on Sunday, with 838 deaths within the last 24-hour period, according to the country's Health Ministry.
It was the country's highest one-day death toll since the pandemic began and the second day in a row in which the country registered more than 800 new fatalities said a dpa report
In total, there have now been 6,528 virus-related deaths in Spain. The overall number of people infected with the virus - which can cause the deadly respiratory disease Covid-19 - now stands at 78,797.
The capital Madrid has been particularly hard hit, with more than 22,000 cases and over 3,000 deaths.
Nonetheless, officials on Sunday said they saw a silver lining, in that the rate of new deaths has slowed, to 15 per cent, from 17 per cent the day before.
The rate of new infections also slowed by nearly 4 percentage points from Saturday down to 9 per cent.
"These are encouraging data," said Fernando Simon, the head of Spain's Department of Health Emergencies (CCAES). "All the indicators are showing a good or a very good development."
Simon emphasized above all that close to 15,000 recovered Covid-19 patients have now been released from hospital.
At the same time the health expert warned this was no time for complacency, with the intensive care units in six regions currently at their limit.
Transport Secretary Maria Jose Rallo del Olmo also had comforting words for Spaniards, saying that the vast majority of people were adhering to the strict lockdown measures in place since March 15. "It will soon be over," she said, smiling.
Spain has the fourth-highest number of confirmed cases in the world and is Europe's second-worst-hit country.
On Saturday, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced even stricter lockdown rules. From Monday until April 9 all workers not employed in essential services would be required to stay at home.
Wages would be continued to paid, but workers would be required to make up the hours at a later date. Until now all employees not able to work from home had been allowed to go to work.
Which sectors are exempt from the rules will be decided on Sunday at a meeting of the Spanish cabinet.