coronavirus in Madrid, Spain

The leading virus expert of Spain’s government says the European country is “very close” to having checked its coronavirus outbreak.

Fernando Simón, the director of Spain’s health alerts and emergency center, says “We could be very close to having the virus at (contagion) levels that are practically undetectable.”

Spain’s daily death toll remained well under 100 fatalities for a sixth consecutive day Friday, when the health ministry reported 56 deaths. That took the tally from the start of the pandemic to 28,628 deaths.

The ministry also said 13 of its 19 regional governments did not need to admit any COVID-19 patients to critical care units in the previous 24 hours.

At the height of the outbreak in late March and early April, Spain’s critical care units were overrun with virus cases in hot spots and deaths spiked above 900 a day.