Spain’s Coronavirus Deaths, Cases Hover Close to Pre-Lockdown Lows

(Bloomberg) --

With Spain beginning Monday to gradually relax its lockdown regime after weeks of confinement, the country’s daily coronavirus deaths and new cases hovered at lows last seen before the curbs were introduced in early March.

The number of fatalities rose by 164 to 25,428 in the 24 hours through Monday, the same increase as Sunday, according to Health Ministry data. Infections rose by 356 to 218,011 after the previous day’s gain of 838. The total number of cases was adjusted to reflect changes in data for the Madrid region.

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said Saturday that the pandemic is under control, allowing the government to gradually phase out a strict lockdown introduced March. 14.

First steps include lifting some restrictions on Monday, with more easing in some areas than others based on local data. Harder-hit places such as Madrid and Barcelona, the two largest cities, are likely to be the last to see the end of the confinement.

Under the government’s plan, some small businesses such as hairdressers will be allowed to open by appointment, while bars and restaurants can serve takeout. On four Spanish islands with small populations, shops will be allowed to open with limited capacity. People were allowed out to exercise for the first time in seven weeks at the weekend.

Sanchez has said that he plans to ask parliament for permission to extend a state of emergency for two more weeks when it expires on May 9.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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