OVIEDO, Spain

Spain’s Health Ministry reported 25,456 new coronavirus infections on Friday, the second-highest daily surge on record.

“The pandemic is getting worse,” said Spain’s Health Minister Salvador Illa in a press conference on Friday. “The upcoming weeks will be tough with even more increases in infections.”

Besides more confirmed infections, the number of coronavirus tests coming back positive has been soaring as well. On Tuesday, the most recent day for which there is data, 16% of all tests performed in Spain came back positive for the virus.

In parallel, active hospitalizations are skyrocketing, with nearly 15,000 COVID-19 patients now being treated and a quarter of all available intensive care units being used. The total number of active patients has increased by nearly 3,500 this week.

In the last week, the Ministry reported 1,037 deaths from COVID-19 – up from the previous two weeks.

Despite Illa’s warning about a deteriorating situation, he said Spain’s regional governments were doing a good job of keeping the virus under control.

This week, several areas including Madrid, Catalonia, Murcia, Extremadura and Valencia, announced tighter restrictions, but their effects will not be felt immediately.

Most of Spain loosened restrictions around travel and curfews for Christmas, New Year and the Feast of the Epiphany celebration on Jan. 6. The impact of those celebrations also remains to be seen.

On Friday, students in several regions of Spain returned to the classroom, while most of the remaining region’s schools are set to reopen on Monday.

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