Spain counts 17 new coronavirus deaths in 24 hours

Spain counts 17 new coronavirus deaths in 24 hours
A coronavirus patient in hospital in Madrid. Photo: PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU / AFP
Spain on Friday registered 17 virus deaths within 24 hours, its highest daily COVID-19 toll since June 19.

The update came as many Spaniards were gearing up to go on holiday and as the country preparing to reopen its frontiers on Saturday to travellers from 12 other countries outside the European Union.

Spain had already opened its borders to EU nations on June 21 as well as residents of the passport-free Schengen zone.

The health ministry said it had reinforced its presence at Spain's airports to check incoming travellers, with an extra 650 staff to add to the 600 already in place.

On Thursday, the health ministry said five people had died overnight, giving a weekly total of 24 deaths.

Also on Thursday, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said Spain must “learn to live with the virus” and carry on as normal, “without lowering our guard”.

Spain has been badly hit by the epidemic, suffering 28,385 deaths, Europe's fourth-highest toll after the United Kingdom, Italy and France. It has also diagnosed 250,545 cases within its population of 47 million, ranking third within Europe after Russia and the UK.

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