The daily number of deaths from coronavirus in Spain fell from 400 for the first time since March, an “encouraging” figure for health authorities.
Spain, the third country with the most deaths, only behind the United States and Italy, reported on Monday 399 deaths from coronavirus in the last 24 hours, a slight decrease compared to the previous day (410), reported AFP.
These are the lowest figures since March 22, when 394 deaths were reported in 24 hours.
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“Today we have descended from the 400 deceased for the first time, they are few (less with respect to Sunday), but they are brands that are giving us hope,” Fernando Simón, director of the Center for Health Emergencies of the Ministry of Health.
“We have been several days with very clear declines, they are very encouraging figures,” continued Simon.
In total, Spain accumulates 20,852 deaths since the beginning of the epidemic.
– More than 200,000 cases –
Regarding confirmed cases, they exceeded the 200,000 barrier, reaching 200,210, at a time when the government has expanded the tests it carries out among the population to around 40,000 daily.
Meanwhile, the cured people rose to 80,587, 40% of the total reported cases.
The health authorities have indicated that the peak of the contagions of the epidemic is already behind, after 950 deaths were registered daily on April 2.
Authorities attribute the improvement in recent weeks to the iron confinement of the 47 million Spaniards in force since March 14.
A measure that the president of the government, Pedro Sánchez will ask the Congress of Deputies on Wednesday to extend until May 9, included, although with some modifications, such as the possibility that children can make brief outings from April 27.
Although their exact conditions have not yet been disclosed, the exits of the children “will be controlled,” Simón clarified, ruling out “opening the door and saying: Children, let’s play!”
The scientific committee is also studying the possibility of allowing outings for adults to exercise and for older people to take short walks, as is the case in other countries, but without a decision yet, said Simon.
– Drop in GDP “without precedent” –
The government has warned in any case that confinement, which currently only allows people to go out to work if they cannot do it from home or to buy food or medicine, will gradually rise and ” cautious. “
The improvement in the numbers has reduced the tension to which the health system was subjected in recent weeks, with overflowing hospitals in the most affected areas such as Madrid and Catalonia.
The number of new hospitalizations and admissions to intensive care units has continued to drop, Fernando Simón confirmed on Monday.
The situation has improved so much in Madrid that the authorities closed one of the two pavilions of the IFEMA congress center converted into a field hospital and will close on Wednesday a morgue installed on an ice rink in a shopping center.
While some optimism loomed on the health front, concerns were growing in the economic arena: The Bank of Spain announced on Monday that the country’s gross domestic product could contract between 6.6% and 13.6% in 2020 because of of the pandemic.
This is a “unprecedented decline in recent history” of the fourth economy in the euro area, although its magnitude is surrounded by “much uncertainty” depending on the duration of the confinement, the central bank explained in a statement.
Almost 3.9 million Spaniards are currently unemployed within the framework of temporary suspension of jobs authorized by the government for companies to avoid layoffs during confinement.