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Spain sees slight hike in daily toll with 430 deaths

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A man in need receives a free food ration in Puente de Vallecas, one of the poorest districts in Madrid on April 20, 2020 during a national lockdown to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 disease. – Spain said 399 people died of COVID-19 over the past 24 hours in what was the lowest daily number of deaths in four weeks, the government said. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)

Spain saw a slight increase in the daily virus death toll on Tuesday, with 430 people dying in the past 24 hours, health ministry data showed.

So far, 21,282 people have succumbed to the pandemic in Spain, which has suffered the third-highest number of deaths in the world after the United States and Italy.

Officials say the numbers tend to go up slightly on Tuesdays following a slight delay in receiving data from the regions on deaths that have occurred over the weekend.

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On Monday, Spain registered 399 deaths overnight in what was the lowest figure in four weeks.

The number of confirmed cases now stands at 204,178, the second-highest number in the world after the United States which has registered more than 750,000 infections.

Medical staff have been particularly exposed in Spain given the lack of protective equipment when the epidemic first took hold, with 31,788 cases among healthcare workers — just over 15 percent of the total, the figures showed.

But the number of people who have gotten over the disease has also risen with Spain counting 82,518 recoveries.

Spanish health officials believe the epidemic peaked on April 2 when 950 people died over 24 hours, nearly three weeks after the government imposed a strict lockdown, effectively confining almost 47 million citizens at home to slow the spread of the virus.

The March 14 lockdown has been twice extended with the government saying it would move for a fresh extension until May 9, although conditions are to be slightly eased on April 27 to allow children to spend some time outside.

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