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Spain reports drop in daily coronavirus death toll

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Healthcare workers applaud in return as they are cheered on outside La Paz Hospital in Madrid on April 27, 2020 during a national lockdown to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 disease. – Spain announced 331 new virus deaths in a slight increase on its lowest daily figure in a month, as officials warned parents not to flout rules after children were allowed outdoors. (Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU / AFP)

Spain on Tuesday recorded a slight decrease in the number of daily coronavirus deaths with the government set to unveil plans to relax stringent lockdown measures in place since mid-March.

The number of fatalities rose by 301 to 23,822 in the previous 24 hours, compared with Monday’s increase of 331, the health ministry said.

It is the fifth consecutive day that the number of daily fatalities in Spain — which has the world’s third-highest COVID-19 death toll after the United States and Italy — have been below 400.

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Officials believe the epidemic peaked on April 2 when the daily toll hit 950.

“The evolution has been very fast in terms of the number of dead and that is good,” health ministry emergencies coordinator Fernando Simon told a news conference.

Spain’s nearly 47 million people have since March 14 lived under one of the strictest virus lockdowns in the world, with only adults authorised to leave home to buy food, medicine or walk the dog.

The lockdown was prolonged last week until May 9 but Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez is expected to later on Tuesday outline how he will ease the restrictions.

Already on Sunday kids under 14 were allowed out for the first time to go for a walk, a run or a bike ride accompanied by one parent.

Spain has so far counted more than 210,000 cases of COVID-19, the second-highest figure in the world, although the health ministry only logs cases confirmed by testing.

The number of people who have recovered from the virus now stands at over 102,500.

Until late last week, the government was also including the numbers of those shown to have developed antibodies.

On Monday, the government launched a sero-prevalence study involving 60,000 people to collect information on the real number exposed to the virus through analysing blood test data.

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