efe-epaMadrid

The daily increase in new coronavirus infections, deaths and hospital admissions in Spain slowed again on Monday as the country began its fourth week of a national lockdown.

Spain’s health ministry said 637 people had died after contracting Covid-19 in the last 24 hours, the lowest daily toll since 24 March, bringing the overall number of fatalities from the virus to 13,055.

Doctor María José Sierra from Spain’s public health emergency department said the spread of the pandemic was slowing in almost all Spanish regions.

“The decrease is reflected in the basic reproduction number, the number of secondary infections caused by a single confirmed case,” she said in a daily press briefing.

There were 4,273 new infections detected between Sunday and Monday, a 3.2 percent increase bringing the total number of infections reported since the outbreak took hold in Spain to 135,032, the second highest number in the world after the United States.

Just over 81,000 of these cases are active.

The daily increase of ICU admissions also dropped, with 70 people being sent for intensive care in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number in Spain to 6,931.

A total of 40,437 people have recovered from Covid-19, just under a third of all confirmed cases in the country.

This weekend, Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez extended the national state of alarm until 26 April, meaning the restrictive measures for the population will remain in place over the Semana Santa period, normally a time when people travel to meet family or congregate for traditional Easter processions.

The festivities have been shelved this year due to the pandemic.

Health authorities on Monday urged the population to plan their Easter shopping in order to avoid crowds forming at supermarkets.

Sierra said 19,400 positive cases were health workers. Around 20 percent have since recovered from the virus while 10 percent required hospitalization. The majority of health workers who contracted Covid-19 were monitored from self-isolation at home.

Spain is the second-deadliest Covid-19 hotspot globally after Italy, which has recorded almost 16,000 fatalities. EFE

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