OVIEDO, Spain

Spain’s Ministry of Health on Friday confirmed that 195 more people were diagnosed with the COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

With just one more death than reported on Thursday, a total of 27,133 people have now died due to the disease.

In total, Spanish health authorities have managed to detect 240,660 cases in the country via lab tests.

However, a nationwide serological study into COVID-19 antibodies now suggests that 5.2% of the population — around 2.4 million people — have contracted the virus in Spain.

This is the second round of an authoritative government survey that this time took blood samples from a randomly selected group of more than 55,000 people between May 18 and June 1.

The results, published on Thursday evening, were very similar to those of the first round conducted between April 27 and May 13, which found COVID-19 antibodies in 5% of the Spanish population.

While the findings mean Spain is not even close to herd immunity, they are a sign that the virus’s spread has slowed tremendously in the country, which has the fifth-most confirmed cases in the world.

The rate of immunity, according to the study, varies significantly by region. In the capital Madrid, 11.4% of those tested were immune, while antibodies were present in only 1.4% of those tested in the southern region of Murcia.

Due to the asymmetric spread of the virus, Spain’s Health Minister announced which regions would be able to further ease lockdown restrictions as of Monday.

Salvador Illa confirmed that Barcelona and Madrid would be able to pass to phase two, which allows indoor dining, a reopening of malls, increased mobility and gatherings of up to 15 people.

Other regions including most of Spain’s northern coast, Andalusia and Murcia will be able to enter phase three, which permits even more mobility, gatherings of up to 20 people and relaxes restrictions related to the maximum capacity in indoor spaces.

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