OVIEDO, Spain

Spain on Friday reported 5,479 new cases of the novel coronavirus, according to the country’s Health Ministry.

The daily figure is down around 2,000 from Thursday, which included two days’ worth of data from Madrid, but the weekly number of infections continues to climb.

In the last week, more than 27,300 new cases were confirmed, bringing the total number of COVID-19 infections since the state of alarm ended on June 21 to nearly 100,000.

More than half of all infections since then occurred in the last two weeks.

Although other European countries like France and the UK are now seeing upticks in cases, Spain continues to lead the pack in new infections.

New hospitalizations are also beginning to increase with growing speed. According to the Ministry of Health, 238 more people had to be admitted to hospital for the disease – one of the highest numbers in months.

The Ministry of Health also reported 12 more deaths, taking the total number of confirmed lives lost to 28,617. The numbers do not match up with local reports, however, as Catalonia alone reported 28 daily deaths on Friday.

After an emergency meeting with regional leaders, Spain’s Minister of Health Salvador Illa announced 11 new measures to help curb the spread of the disease, including closing nightclubs and banning smoking in public without social distance.

Illa said he hoped the country would reduce contagions before schools are set to re-open in September.

Each of Spain’s 17 regions are in charge of deciding what they will look like, and while contagions continue to steadily increase, parents and students remain in the dark about what could happen with education this autumn.

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