The number of daily fatalities related to the coronavirus came in at 102 on Saturday, the lowest figure registered since March 18, just four days after the state of alarm was implemented in a bid to slow the spread of the virus. The number of deaths registered on Friday was 138. According to data released today by the Health Ministry, fatalities related to Covid-19 in Spain now stand at 27,563.
The total number of cases that have been detected in Spain via the more reliable PRC tests currently stands at 230,698, which is an increase of 539 new cases since yesterday – a 0.32% rise on the total.
Speaking at the government’s daily coronavirus press conference on Saturday, Fernando Simón, the director of the Health Ministry’s Coordination Center for Health Alerts, said that not all of these were new cases, but rather had been detected thanks to an increase in testing. “No active outbreak has been detected in any [Spanish] region,” Simón told reporters.
More than 146,000 people in Spain have recovered from the coronavirus and have been discharged from hospital since the pandemic took hold, according to the latest figures.
Deaths in senior residences
The Madrid regional government has put the number of Covid-19-related deaths in senior residences at 5,909 since March 8, an additional 23 fatalities having been registered over the last four days. The total number of deaths in the 475 senior residences in the region, and the 235 homes for those with disabilities or mental illnesses, is 7,690, meaning that 76.84% of these deaths are related to the coronavirus.
Anti-government protests spread
Protests against the Spanish government’s handling of the coronavirus crisis are beginning to spread across Madrid. Last night, for the sixth day running, there were demonstrations in Núñez de Balboa street, in the upscale Salamanca district. As on previous nights, there was a significant police presence to ensure that social distancing rules were observed on the street.
Protests also took place in areas such as Aravaca, Pinar de Chamartín, Chamberí and other municipalities, such as Majadahonda.
On Núñez de Balboa street, demonstrators banged pots and pans, chanting slogans such as “Freedom!” and “Pedro Sánchez should resign!” in reference to the prime minister. Demonstrators kept walking during the protest, in order not break the lockdown rules, which permit people to take walks or other exercise during specific time frames.
Ports and airports
From today, Saturday, five airports and eight sea ports will be the sole entrance points into Spain via plane or boat, in a bid to minimize the risks of imported coronavirus cases during the deescalation process. The measure, news agency Efe reports, will be in place until May 24, but this period may be extended. According to a ministerial order published on Friday in the Official State Gazette (BOE), the airports are: Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat, Gran Canaria, Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas, Málaga-Costa del Sol and Palma de Mallorca. The ports are: Barcelona, Bilbao, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Málaga, Palma de Mallorca, Tenerife, Valencia and Vigo.
Damage to Catalan businesses
The Catalan regional government believes that 30% of Catalan businesses “could have a lot of difficulties surviving” due to the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus in Spain. During the confinement period, which was implemented on March 14, companies in the region have lost revenues of €3.675 billion, according to calculations by the Catalan government.
Barcelona City Hall has announced that from Wednesday, the municipality’s beaches will be open for walks, from 6am to 8pm. However, members of the public will still not be able to spend time sitting or sunbathing on the beaches nor will they be allowed to bathe. Water sports such as surfing will, however, be permitted between 6 and 10am
From Wednesday, all parks in the city will be opened, but only for walks and other exercise currently permitted under Spain’s deescalation plan.
English version by Simon Hunter.