Death toll falls again in Spain as PM considers another lockdown extension

Death toll falls again in Spain as PM considers another lockdown extension
Pedro Sanchez addresses the first question time session since lockdown began. Photo: AFP
Spain's daily death toll from the coronavirus fell on Wednesday to 523, after posting a one-day rise, bringing the total number of fatalities to 18,579, the health ministry said.

The number of new confirmed infections in the country, one of the worst hitby the pandemic, rose by over 5,000, after falling for six consecutive days, which lifts the total number of infections to over 177,000.


The data shows that 70,853 people have now made a full recovery with 3,349 more in the last 24 hours.



Madrid is the region that has been hit the hardest with  most cases with 49,526 confirmed cases and more than a third of the deaths (6,724 of the nationwide total 18,579).

However regional authorities confirmed on Wednesday that the death toll is in fact much higher because only those who died after testing positive have been included in the official data.

Enrique Ruiz Escudero, regional head of Madrid health ministry said the total number of those who have died from covid-19 in Madrid was likely to be over 10,000 once the 616 deaths in private homes and 2,820 deaths in nursing or elderly care homes were taken into account, many of which could be attributed to coronavirus although no testing was carried out.

Health authorities say Spain has overcome the peak of the coronavirus, after registering its highest daily death toll of 950 people on April 2, but warn against relaxing restrictions on the movement of people to curb the
spread of the virus. 

The government tightened the restrictions on March 30 by freezing all non-essential activities like construction and manufacturing for two weeks in a so-called “economic hibernation” — a measure that was lifted on Monday.

“We adopted difficult measures which are effective, which protect and save lives,” Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said Wednesday during a debate in parliament.

“As a result of this confinement, I am convinced that Spaniards will shortly recover a bit of normality…a new normality because nothing will be the same until a vaccine is found,” he added in response to criticism from the right over his handling of the pandemic.

The government estimates that about 67 percent of Spaniards are adhering strictly to the lockdown and hardly ever go outside since it was imposed. 

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez is expected to officially seek a further extension to the current ‘state of alarm’ lockdown in Spain until Sunday May 10th.


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