Coronavirus: Spain's daily toll falls again with 523 dead
Spain recorded 523 deaths from the coronavirus on Wednesday, a decline from the previous day, but the number of new daily confirmed cases was the highest in six days.
The new deaths reported by the health ministry take the total number of fatalities to 18,579 -- officially third in the world behind the United States and Italy.
Spain recorded 567 deaths from COVID-19 on Tuesday.
The number of new confirmed infections rose by 5,092, or three percent, to 177,633, the biggest daily increase in the number of cases since April 9.
Health authorities say Spain has overcome the peak of the coronavirus, after registering its highest daily death toll of 950 people on April 2, but warn against relaxing restrictions on the movement of people to curb the spread of the virus.
Spain on March 14 imposed one of the tightest lockdowns in Europe, with people in the nation of around 47 million people allowed outside only to go to work when they can't do so from home, buy food, seek medical care and briefly walk their dog.
The government tightened the restrictions on March 30 by freezing all non-essential activities like construction and manufacturing for two weeks in a so-called "economic hibernation" -- a measure that was lifted on Monday.
"We adopted difficult measures which are effective, which protect and save lives," Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said Wednesday during a debate in parliament.
"As a result of this confinement, I am convinced that Spaniards will shortly recover a bit of normality...a new normality because nothing will be the same until a vaccine is found," he added in response to criticism from the right over his handling of the pandemic.
The government estimates that about 67 percent of Spaniards are adhering strictly to the lockdown and hardly ever go outside since it was imposed.