Health officials say they see a glimmer of hope with the epidemic slowing in terms of proportional daily increases in infections and deaths.
Spain’s death toll from the coronavirus rose above 10,000 yesterday after a record 950 people died overnight.
Spain has the world’s second-highest death toll after Italy at 10,003 but the one-day toll was the highest for any country since the start of the epidemic.
The number of registered coronavirus cases rose about 8% from Wednesday to 110,238, the ministry said. The total deaths rose by just over 10%, about the same rate as the previous day.
However, the daily increase in infections in percentage terms has been slowing gradually since March 25, when reported cases rose by just over 20%.
Health Minister Salvador Illa told parliament “There is light at the end of the tunnel, the curve has stabilised. We have reached the peak and started the slowdown phase.”
“There are still tough weeks to come,” the minister said “But between all of us we are managing it. We are responding with strength, in a coordinated manner and with solidarity.
Our health system is also up to the task. We are also working so that the social safety net is up to the task. Health comes before the economy. For the economy to become the priority once more, the priority today must be health.”
Health Minister Illa also said Seat, the local unit of German carmaker Volkswagen, whose car production lines have been shut for more than two weeks, will produce 300 ventilators per day and a local company, Hersill, will make another 100.
Spain has shed an unprecedented 900,000 jobs since it went into lockdown, on March 14th, with temporary layoffs affecting at least another 620,000.
Social security data also showed that around 80,000 workers are off sick with coronavirus, while 170,000 more are on sick leave because they are isolated after coming into contact with someone with the virus.