The Health Ministry’s Fernando Simón says the country may be “approaching the long-awaited peak” in coronavirus infections


The Health Ministry’s Fernando Simón says the country may be “approaching the long-awaited peak” in coronavirus infections, as the number of cases has risen by a smaller percentage in the past 15 days.

Simón said “We have to prudent with these figures, but they are promising and give us some hope.

The health expert also warned that “a drop in transmission will not be accompanied by a drop in pressure on the healthcare system.”

The latest official figures revealed that 769 people died from coronavirus, the highest daily rise in fatalities since the beginning of the outbreak.

That brings the total number of deaths in the country to 4,858, it’s the second highest in the world after Italy.

64,059 people have been infected, a rise of 14% since Thursday. More than 36,000 people are currently in the hospital, and of these, 4,165 are in intensive care, a day-on-day increase of 13%.

Meanwhile 9,357 patients have recovered and have been released from hospital, almost twice the number of deaths.

The Spanish Cabinet held an extraordinary meeting yesterday, followed by a news conference at which the health, finance and labour ministers offered new information.

Labour Minister Yolanda Díaz warned that the crisis cannot be used by employers as an excuse to fire workers, and said the government is temporarily restricting layoffs based on unforeseen circumstances or for economic, technical, organisational and production reasons over the effect of coronavirus.

Temporary contracts will also remain in force for the duration of the crisis. Díaz said the government would review all the temporary layoff plans (ERTEs) that are currently being filed by numerous companies, and which are the government’s preferred channel for businesses to adapt to the economic slowdown.

She said “The ERTEs were created specifically for this health crisis, and she urged the business community to lead by example, to show commitment to people and to preserve jobs.”

The government will be doing “routine checks, and if it detects any fraud, companies will have to pay back every last cent, including worker’s unemployment benefits.”