Spain saw a surge of 734 more COVID-19 deaths, with the total death toll reaching 13,798, according to Health Ministry data released Tuesday.
This figure breaks Spain’s four-day streak of fatalities trending downwards. On Monday, 674 deaths were reported.
Tuesday’s data also said over 5,500 new cases were confirmed, bringing the total of official cases to 140,510. Over 43,200 of those patients have recovered – an increase of nearly 3,000 since Monday.
Only Italy has reported more COVID-19 deaths than Spain, but with Spain’s lower population, it has surpassed Italy in terms of per capita fatalities. It is also suspected that the number of official deaths is much lower than the true figures.
Data released by the government of the Castille la Mancha on Monday suggests that 1,921 people have died of COVID-19 in the region – 70% more than the official central government number of 1,132. Overwhelmed bureaucracies and inconsistent reporting could be to blame.
Despite the problematic data, hospitals in Spain are noticing a downward trend in new cases and an ease in overall pressure compared to previous weeks.
In the midst of Spain’s fourth week of lockdown, the government is now thinking forward to the next phase of containment.
Boosting Spain’s testing capacity will be key.
“Until now, the strategy has been focused on serious cases in hospitals and essential personnel,” María José Sierra, co-director of Spain’s emergency health services, told a press conference on Monday. “But we need to identify all cases of coronavirus early so we can isolate it.”
The Spanish government is considering legal paths to quarantining people who test positive for the virus and could infect others.
On Monday, the government also confirmed that 19,400 healthcare workers have tested positive for COVID-19.