SPAIN has officially surpassed 700,000 COVID-19 cases after registering a further 10,653 on Thursday.

It brings the total number of cases detected by PCR since the beginning of the pandemic to 702,209, or 1.4% of the country’s population.

However the real number of infected is likely to be around 2.3 million people, or 5% of the population, according to estimates by health experts following several studies.

The total number of cases by PCR has doubled in the past 40 days, rising from 342,813 on August 14 to the more than 702,000 today.

For the past week, however, the number of new cases registered daily has hovered around 10,000 after reaching almost 15,000 last Friday.

For health minister Salvador Illa, it means the spreading of the virus is slowing down.

However while experts believe the second peak is being reached, they agree that the way back down will be a slow descending plateau.

And while the number of infections registered today is 636 less than yesterday, Andalucia has been unable to report its numbers due to technical problems.

Madrid topped the list of new infections clocking 1,097, followed by the Basque region and Navarra.

Galicia, the Balearics and Cantabria detected the lowest number of infections in the past 24 hours, registering 21, 58 and 66 respectively.

“There is a reality that everyone should be aware of and that is that this second wave differs in how it has moved through the territory in a different way,” Secretary of state for health Silvia Calzon said at the press conference this evening.

“There have been communities with very favourable indicators, while neighbouring communities have gone through very complex situations and in a few weeks we have seen that the evolution of the infection has been the opposite.

“At no time did any spokesperson for this ministry imply that the virus had disappeared. Neither did those responsible for the autonomous communities. What was explained when the different de-escalation phases ended, is that a new era was coming, called the new normal, in which we had many months to live with the virus and many months of transmission control and this is the scenario we continue to find ourselves in.”

The ministry of health reported 84 deaths from coronavirus in the past 24 hours.

Some 500 people have lost their lives in the past week.

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