CORONAVIRUS

Daily coronavirus deaths in Spain rise slightly but remain under 400

Official gazette publishes order allowing children under 14 to go out with an adult starting on Sunday

A Metro station in Madrid, where transit authorities reported a 81% drop in passengers during peak hours.
A Metro station in Madrid, where transit authorities reported a 81% drop in passengers during peak hours.Eduardo Parra / Europa Press

The number of daily coronavirus deaths registered in Spain was 378 on Saturday, according to the latest figures provided by the Health Ministry. This is slightly up from Friday, when the number of overnight fatalities was 367.

But the daily deaths were under 400 for the second day in a row, well below highs of over 600 registered in recent weeks.

There were 2,944 new infections, although this figure only counts cases confirmed through PCR tests, which identify people with an active infection at the time of testing. The total number of new infections, including those identified through serological tests, which measure antibodies in the blood, are 4,000. Up until two weeks ago, new cases were only being measured with PCR tests.

The total death toll since the beginning of the pandemic is 22,902. Health authorities also reported that a total of 95,708 patients have recovered and been discharged from hospital.

If only cases confirmed via PCR tests are taken into account, Friday marked the first day that Spain registered more recoveries than new infections since the beginning of the crisis – 3,105 compared to 2,796.

Walks for children

Despite having some of the world’s strictest confinement measures – children will only be allowed out for an hour a day starting on Sunday – Spain has been one of the world’s hardest-hit countries. Authorities placed the country in lockdown on March 14 and citizens have only been allowed out for essential business.

On Saturday, the official gazette BOE published the order allowing children under the age of 14 to go out with an adult starting on Sunday for “a daily walk of a maximum duration of one hour and a distance of no more than one kilometer from the minor’s home, between 9am and 9pm.”

According to health officials, youngsters who are 14 and over are not included in these provisions, but may go out on the same essential errands allowed for adults, such as trips to the supermarket. Earlier this week, the government had said that children up to and including 14-year-olds would be allowed out on walks.

At a news conference on Friday afternoon, Health Minister Salvador Illa warned that the gradual deescalation of the lockdown for the general population “is going to be complex and demand the best of ourselves, of all the administrations in the country.”

Madrid authorities said that 5,558 people have died of Covid-19 in senior residences and other care homes across the region since March 6. The figure includes confirmed cases and suspected ones. The total number of deaths at these facilities during the same period was 6,782, the Efe news agency reported.

Catalonia

Catalan premier Quim Torra said at a Saturday news conference that he will ask for the state of alarm to be lifted, or at least for some regions to be left out of it, at an upcoming meeting of regional leaders.

“The end of confinement cannot be managed from a distance of 600 kilometers,” said Torra. “We are asking to get our powers back immediately. Centralization has been proven to be ineffective. It is necessary to recover our capacity to manage the pandemic in Catalonia.”

Torra also asked Catalan families to try to space out their outings with children despite the fact that no official times have been set by the central government. The regional leader suggested that families with children up to six years of age should go out between 11am and 1pm, and those with older kids between 4pm and 6pm.

English version by Susana Urra.

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