The health ministry said Spain’s daily death toll from the coronavirus fell below 100 yesterday for the first time in two months, as some parts of the country prepared for a further loosening of lockdown measures.
Total deaths from the virus rose by 87 to 27,650, while the number of cases edged up to 231,350 from 230,698.
Spain introduced one of Europe’s strictest lockdowns on March 14 as the population has remained largely confined to their homes, the rate of new infections and fatalities has steadily fallen, prompting the government to begin unwinding the lockdown.
Health emergency chief Fernando Simon cautioned however, that the low death tally yesterday could be due to delays in reporting at weekends.
Asked if health authorities had sufficient resources to deal with current patient levels, he said: “The ministry is gathering reserves, but now there is enough material for current needs.”
A doctor in Madrid meanwhile said that she was worried hospitals would not be able to cope if there was a second surge of the disease.
She said that they are not yet ready to face a second wave even if it is smaller.
As the government begins to lift restrictions on movement, authorities are considering extending mandatory mask use on public transport to cover ALL public spaces.
Health Minister Salvador Illa said there is an ample consensus that the government should reinforce the obligatory use of masks.
From today, inhabitants of the sparsely populated Canary Islands of La Graciosa, El Hierro, and La Gomera will be able to go for walks at any time of day.
However, in Madrid and Barcelona, which have been particularly badly hit tougher restrictions will remain in place.
Protests have sprung up around the country in the past week, with disgruntled Spaniards airing their frustration at the government’s handling of the crisis.
Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Saturday he would seek parliament’s approval to extend the country’s state of emergency until the end of June, when most regions should have returned to normality.