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COVID Deaths Increase in Spain

Health services staff members stand outside at Navarra Hospital in a two minute silence in tribute for members of staff who died of coronovirus, in Pamplona, northern Spain, May 14, 2020.

Spain’s health ministry reported Thursday the country’s daily coronavirus death toll rose above 200 for the first time in five days, with 217 fatalities reported since Wednesday.

Spain’s death toll currently stands at more than 27,100, according to the Johns Hopkins University’s COVID-19 dashboard. COVID-19 is the illness caused by the virus.

At news briefing in Madrid, the health ministry’s director of emergency coordination, Fernando Simón, said the higher number of deaths does not necessarily reflect a change in the situation in Spain. Rather, these were patients who were already hospitalized, likely in intensive care. He said it would take about a week to assess if this reflects a trend of any kind.

Simon also said there were 506 new confirmed COVID cases Thursday, a slight increase (0.22 percent) that raises the number of cases to almost 230,000.

More than half of the new cases were in Catalonia, where 195 were recorded. Eighty-eight cases were reported in Madrid.

The two regions are not yet part of the national plan to ease lockdown restrictions due to their high infection rates.

Simon also said that it was too soon to see an impact of the easing of the measures.