OVIEDO, Spain

Spain on Thursday reported 38 more fatalities over the last seven days, but the health minister said there have been some new outbreaks.

Health Minister Salvador Illa warned officials in the Spanish enclave of Ceuta that the region may have to return to stricter lockdown measures. Over 270 people are currently quarantined in the region after potential exposure to the deadly virus.

The Catalan region of Lleida has also seen worrying spread, including 20 new infections derived from a birthday party.

Over the last week, there have been around 3,000 new contagions.

In total, 237,906 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed, and the country reported a total of 27,119 deaths.

However, Spain’s official coronavirus death toll only includes people who tested positive for COVID-19. The statistics do not include those who died of the disease without a test.

At the peak of the crisis, Madrid, one of the worst-hit areas, even went as far as to stop testing incoming patients, and instead treated and diagnosed COVID-19 cases based on symptoms.

Although the worst of the crisis appears to be over, Illa cautioned Spaniards to keep up their guard to prevent new outbreaks during the de-escalation phase of the lockdown.

“This is not a sprint, it’s a long-distance run,” he said, while testifying in Spain’s Congress.

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