OVIEDO, Spain 

After more than six weeks of lockdown, Spain on Tuesday reported 301 more COVID-19 deaths and 1,308 new infections, both down from Monday and far below the peak seen in early April.

In total, Spain has identified 210,773 infections via polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests. Of those cases, 23,822 people have died and 102,548 have recovered, according to data released by the Health Ministry.

Spain has been on lockdown since March 14 and it is set to continue until at least May 9.

On Monday, after weeks of delay, the Health Ministry announced it had begun a study of COVID-19 in general population.

Results of this study may help guide the government on the de-escalation of social distancing measures.

Using blood tests that check for antibodies, health officials hope to get a full picture of how many people may have contracted the virus without having been tested.

Generally in Spain, testing has been limited to people with severe infections or essential workers.

This study will test at least 60,000 randomly selected people across the country to determine how many have the antibodies that may make them immune to the disease.

The Health Ministry said these rapid blood tests are more than 80% accurate according to preliminary studies.

Regions like Asturias in Northern Spain, however, has said the central government did not send all the material needed to perform the tests and have not yet given researchers access to the online database.

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