The number of fatalities rose by 331 to 23,521 in the 24 hours through Monday, compared with Sunday’s increase of 288 — the lowest in more than month. Total confirmed cases rose 1,831 to 209,465, according to Health Ministry data.
As the spread slows, the government has been shifting its focus to gradually easing the confinement measures that started on March 14. Spain will take its next step by allowing people out for walks and exercise as of May 3, after letting children leave their homes on Sunday.
Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said over the weekend that he plans to announce a plan to further relax measures on Tuesday after discussing it with ministers at the weekly Cabinet meeting.
To help mitigate the risks of a renewed outbreak, the government is starting a study aimed at tracking the “actual scope of the epidemic,” Health Minister Salvador Illa said on Sunday. Researchers will monitor 36,000 randomly selected households in small and medium-sized cities to gather data to help policy makers.
The disease is believed to have spread days, if not weeks, before authorities were aware. The first Spanish death from coronavirus occurred on Feb. 13 but was only confirmed through an autopsy on March 3.
The latest figures reflect new reporting standards that have come into effect in recent days. Previously, the government included people who had antibodies for the virus in its overall figure, but now the daily total figure only includes patients who are confirmed positive using a testing technique known as PCR.
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