Coronavirus: Spain daily death toll drops below 200

A member of a technical support team helps a healthcare worker put his protective suit on before visiting patients at their homes in Barcelona on May 1, 2020.

Spain on Sunday counted another 164 coronavirus deaths, the lowest daily number in nearly seven weeks as the country begins to gradually lift its strict lockdown.

The figures from the health ministry bring the total number of fatalities from the pandemic in Spain to 25,264 -- the fourth-highest after the US, Italy and Britain.

It is the lowest daily increase since March 18 when 107 deaths were recorded but the ministry’s emergencies coordinator, Fernando Simon, said the figure had to be interpreted with “caution” as it comes on a long holiday weekend when reporting of fatalities by hospitals is usually slower.

“The figures are very good and confirm the trend we have observed. We have to see if they are consolidated in the coming days,” he told a news conference.

An elderly woman wears a protective face mask as she walks with shopping bags during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Barcelona, Spain April 1, 2020. (Reuters)

An elderly woman wears a protective face mask as she walks with shopping bags during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Barcelona, Spain April 1, 2020. (Reuters)

Confirmed cases of the virus rose by just 838 to 217,466, although the government recently began counting in its total only patients who test positive using a technique known as PCR. It was the tenth straight day that the number of cured, at 1,654, surpassed new infections.

Health experts believe Spain’s outbreak peaked on April 2 when 950 people died over 24 hours. Since then, the toll has been gradually dropping.

Spain’s nearly 47 million people have since March 14 lived under one of the strictest virus lockdowns in the world, with only adults authorized to leave home to buy food, medicine or walk the dog.

But Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez on Tuesday unveiled a plan to gradually begin easing the restrictions in four phases that should be completed by the end of June.

As of Saturday Spaniards have been allowed outside to exercise or go for a walk once a day.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:58 - GMT 06:58
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