Spain revises virus death toll down by nearly 2,000

Spain's government on Monday, May 25, revised downward the country's death toll from the coronavirus by nearly 2,000, bringing the total number of deaths recorded to 26,834.

A new system of gathering data had allowed them to identify cases that were counted twice and exclude deaths wrongly attributed to the virus, said Fernando Simon, the health ministry's emergencies coordinator.

"A variation of 1,900, that's a lot," he added. "We are trying to check that it's correct, but these are the figures that we have at the moment."

The health ministry, which gathers data from regional health authorities, also revised downwards the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus, from the 235,772 announced on Sunday, May 24, to 235,400.

"We are satisfied with the growing quality of the information that allows us to take decisions," said Simon.

"It is something that happens in every epidemic, when the evolution of the epidemic leaves us with a bit more time, you have to correct the figures and in certain cases you have to reduce them," he explained.

While the new system cut the number of deaths by 1,918, Spain remains one of the countries worst hit by the virus.

The announcement came as Spain proceeded Monday with its gradual loosening of lockdown restrictions.

Madrid and Barcelona cautiously emerged from one of the world's strictest lockdowns with parks and cafe terraces open for the first time in more than two months – two weeks behind the rest of Spain.

With the summer heat picking up, beaches along Spain's northern coastline as well as some areas in the south, including the Canary Islands and the Balearics, are now open for swimming. – Rappler.com