Spain has the world's second-highest death toll after Italy, with the virus so far claiming 10,003 lives although the rate of new infections and deaths continued its downward trend, the health ministry figures showed.
Spain set yet another grim record as the daily body count from coronavirus was confirmed as 950 on Thursday bringing the total of fatalities across the nation to just over 10,000.
The number of deaths within a 24 hour period exceeded 800 for the sixth day in a row, according to official data from Spain’s Health Ministry.
On Wednesday morning a total of 8,102 infections were confirmed, taking the total to 110,238.
A total of 54,113 people in Spain have been hospitalized, the data showed, while 26,743 have recovered and been discharged from hospital since the coronavirus outbreak began.
Datos actualizados de #COVID19 en España por CCAA
— Ministerio de Sanidad (@sanidadgob) April 2, 2020
Despite the continued rise in the number of deaths, health officials believe the figures show a “trend change” that is positive.
The overall number of hospitalizations (blue), admittance into ICU (yellow) deaths (red) and recoveries (green) are shown in the chart below, which reveals that the curve of the number of hospital admittances is becoming less steep:
Most importantly, the number of people in hospital and those intensive care was falling, suggesting the epidemic had reached its peak, said Fernando Simón, head of the health ministry's emergency coordination unit on Wednesday.
“This is important,” said Simón, who himself was diagnosed with the virus this week.
The number of new infections increased by 7.9 percent, compared with 8.2 percent on Wednesday and more than 25 percent at the start of last week.
The daily rise in deaths also slowed to 10.5 percent on Thursday, virtually unchanged from 10.6 percent on Wednesday and down from 27 percent a week ago.
“The data show the curve has stabilised” and the epidemic has entered a “slowdown” phase, Health Minister Salvador Illa said.
Officials have warned that even if the epidemic is peaking, the pressure on the intensive care system would be subject to a lag of a week or longer, with hospitals likely to reach crisis point by the end of this week or early next.
Madrid remains the worst-hit region, with 4,175 deaths and more than 32,000 cases, leaving hospitals and mortuaries overwhelmed.
Officials said the figures gave a “very positive” indication that the unprecedented lockdown put in place on March 14th, confining Spain's population of nearly 47 million to their homes, was working.