CORONAVIRUS

Daily coronavirus deaths in Spain fall to 268, the lowest figure since March 20

For the first time since the beginning of the crisis, three Spanish regions – Galicia, Cantabria and Murcia – reported no Covid-19 fatalities

A health workers carries out a fast test for coronavirus in Seville.
A health workers carries out a fast test for coronavirus in Seville.NICCOLO GUASTI / Getty Images

The number of daily coronavirus deaths registered in Spain was 268 on Thursday, according to the latest figures provided by the Health Ministry. This is the lowest figure since March 20. It is also a drop from Wednesday, when the number of overnight fatalities was 325.

The total death toll since the beginning of the pandemic now stands at 24,543. For the first time since the beginning of the crisis, three Spanish regions – Galicia, Cantabria and Murcia – reported no coronavirus deaths. Indeed, the southeastern region of Murcia has not reported any new fatalities for some days. The regions of Aragón, the Balearic Islands, the Canary Islands, Navarre and La Rioja reported fewer than five deaths on Thursday.

On Thursday, there were 1,309 new infections, compared to 2,144 on Wednesday. The number of new infections only represents coronavirus cases that have been confirmed via PCR tests, which identify people with an active infection at the time of testing. This figure was adjusted on Thursday, after regional authorities in Galicia provided data disaggregated according to testing method.

Since Sunday, the government has only reported infections confirmed via PCR testing, and not serological tests, which measure antibodies in the blood – i.e. detecting those who have had the coronavirus and recovered. Up until two weeks ago, new cases were only being measured with PCR tests. The total number of infections confirmed via PCR tests is 213,435.

Health authorities also reported that a total of 112,050 patients have recovered and been discharged from hospital. The fatality figures in Spain have remained stable over the last week with 301 on Tuesday, 331 on Monday, 288 on Sunday, and 378 on Saturday.

Timetables for outdoor walks

The government is set to announce on Thursday the conditions under which adults in Spain will be allowed out to go for a walk or for exercise from May 2. In a radio interview with Cadena SER on Thursday, Transportation Minister José Luis Ábalos said that timetables would be set to avoid crowds.

Health Minister Salvador Illa said the plan would be organized in collaboration with regional governments and local authorities, which have the authority to open municipal parks. “All this has to be discussed at length so that there is not a mass exit of people, so that we can combine children’s outings, couples going for a walk and also exercise,” he said.

Since Sunday, children under the age of 14 have been allowed to go out for supervised walks within a one-kilometer radius of their homes and for no longer than an hour.

Spanish economy falls 5.2% in first quarter

Spain’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) fell 5.2% in the first quarter of 2020, according to an advance report released by the National Statistics Institute (INE) on Thursday. This is the largest quarterly drop in nearly a century. The last time such a figure was seen was after the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), based on the estimates of specialist historians.

English version by Melissa Kitson.

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