Spain daily virus death toll drops below 200

MADRID (AFP) – Spain on Sunday (May 3) 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 United States, Italy and Britain.

It is the lowest daily increase since March 18, when 107 deaths were recorded, but the ministry’s emergencies coordinator, Mr 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.

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 authorised 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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