MADRID, March 17 (Xinhua) -- The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Spain rose to 11,178 on Tuesday, an increase of almost 2,000 from Monday's, the Ministry of Health, Consumer Affairs and Social Welfare confirmed.
The death toll from the virus has risen to 491 from 309 on Monday. A total of 573 patients are in intensive care while 1,098 people have recovered.
Fernando Simon, director of the Health Ministry's Coordination Center for Health Alerts and Emergencies, said at a daily press conference,"The daily rise in the number of cases has slowed slightly", but adding it was still too early to draw any conclusions.
"We will be able to evaluate that more in the next two or three days," explained Simon, advising that "we need to be patient, this has only just started."
Tuesday is the third day for Spain to be in the State of Alarm declared by Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez late on Saturday night.
Jose Angel Gonzalez, operational director of the Spanish National Police force, highlighted that apart from some incidents, the vast majority of citizens have followed instructions to stay indoors and there had been "great collaboration, solidarity and civility."
Madrid's Atocha Station once again saw crowds on some platforms during the early morning rush hour, although the number was less than that on Monday as workers have tried not to travel at the same time.
The Spanish military forces have been assigned to 28 cities to help ensure the State of Alarm and the provision of essential supplies.
Sanchez would hold an emergency cabinet meeting on Tuesday to decide a further package of measures to help the Spanish economy cope with the effects of the coronavirus.