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6 Apr, 2020 12:56

Spain to extend coronavirus testing to people without symptoms as infection rate slows

Spain to extend coronavirus testing to people without symptoms as infection rate slows

Hopes are growing that lockdown measures in Spain may be relaxed after figures suggested the country has "passed the peak" as tentative optimism moves across Europe.

Spain will extend coronavirus testing to people showing no symptoms as new infection rates slow in the country, the country's foreign minister announced. On Sunday, 647 deaths were reported over 24 hours – half the rate recorded during the previous week.

Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez told TV station Antena 3:"We are preparing ourselves for de-escalation, for which it is important to know who is contaminated to be able to gradually lift Spanish citizens' lockdown."

He added that Spanish companies were manufacturing 240,000 test kits a week and were still ramping up capacity.

Also on rt.com Global Covid-19 death toll tops 70,000 as ACTIVE infections approach 1 MILLION – Johns Hopkins University

Gonzalez's colleague, Health Minister Salvador Illa said that Spain wanted to strengthen the coronavirus contagion slowdown as the country entered its fourth week of confinement.

Elsewhere, Italy recorded its lowest daily death toll for over two weeks, as 525 people succumbed to the virus on Sunday.

Germany recorded its lowest number of deaths in a week with 92 dying yesterday. Berlin announced plans to end the lockdown on April 19. France's mortality rate also slowed for the second day running. Austria's government revealed that it plans to start reopening shops from next week as a further indication of a tentative wave of optimism beginning to move across Europe.

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