Spain’s Health Ministry confirmed 10,476 new coronavirus infections on Friday — the highest single-day jump since the pandemic began.
The previous daily record was set last Friday, with just under 9,800 new infections in a day.
Although the country is reporting more cases now than in the worst days of spring, testing capacity has improved dramatically so a far higher percentage of the real infections are being detected.
Yet on Friday the country also shattered its post-lockdown record in terms of COVID-19 deaths. Another 184 people were confirmed to have lost their lives, bringing the total number of fatalities to 29,418.
Around 7% of Spain’s hospital beds are now occupied by people fighting COVID-19, with another 1,070 patients being admitted to hospitals in the last 24 hours.
On Friday, authorities in Madrid, the epicenter of the outbreak in Spain, announced a slew of new measures that aim to reduce contagions. Salvador Illa, Spain’s health minister, called them “tough” and “adequate”.
Beginning on Monday, social gatherings in Madrid will be limited to 10 people, with the exception of some events. Churches, casinos, funeral homes and wedding venues remain open but will have to reduce maximum capacity from 75% to 60%.
Madrid still remains open to the rest of the country, as do most of its leisure activities like bars and restaurants. Thousands of students there are also set to return to the classroom next week.
Although Madrid is the epicenter of the second viral wave in Europe, most Spanish regions have also seen a steady increase in active cases over recent weeks.
The Basque Country, La Rioja and Navarra especially have seen infections accelerate at a worrying rate.
Over the past two weeks, 101,962 people in Spain have tested positive for the virus.
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