Spain coronavirus deaths climb by lowest daily amount in a month

by Editorial Team

MADRID – Spain’s death toll from the new coronavirus outbreak rose by 410 on Sunday, the lowest daily increase in about a month in one of the world’s hardest hit countries, prompting cautious optimism from the government that the figures are on a downward path.

The daily increase in deaths was the lowest since March 22. It is far below the highest daily increase – 950 deaths reported on April 2 – in a sign of a slowdown of the spread of the virus after Spain imposed a strict lockdown in mid-March.

The total number of deaths reached 20,453 on Sunday, the Health Ministry said. It is the third-highest toll worldwide after the United States and Italy.

The overall number of coronavirus cases rose to 195,944 from 191,726 on Saturday. Health workers account for 15.6% of those infected, health emergency chief Fernando Simon told a press briefing.

“Data confirms the breaking of the curve, even with an increased number of tests,” said health minister Salvador Illa, referring to the evolution of the death toll. “It is still a difficult stage, but we are going in the right direction”.

Spain is conducting around 40,000 coronavirus tests daily, one of the highest numbers among European countries, Illa said. Close to a million tests had been conducted as of April 13.

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Saturday he would ask parliament for a 15-day extension of the country’s lockdown until May 9, but said the restrictions would be more flexible.

Parliament will convene next Wednesday, Illa said.

The leftist-coalition government received widespread backing for the previous two extensions of a state of emergency first imposed on March 14, including from the main opposition conservative party PP.

“From the beginning we have said that (Sanchez) would have our support to save lives but not to ruin Spain or to hide his mistakes,” PP’s leader Pablo Casado said in an interview with La Razon newspaper published on Sunday.

The interview was conducted before Sanchez’s announcement on Saturday that he would seek another extension.

Sanchez is scheduled to meet Casado on Monday as the prime minister aims to launch what he has called “agreements for reconstruction”, a wide-ranging nationwide pact to address the aftermath of the virus’ impact.

READ MORE FROM SOURCE: https://nypost.com/2020/04/19/spain-coronavirus-deaths-climb-by-lowest-daily-amount-in-a-month/

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