Coronavirus: Hope for Europe as hotspots Spain and Italy see fall in deaths

‘This good news shouldn’t make us drop our guard,’ says Italy’s civil protection agency

Peter Stubley
Monday 06 April 2020 00:40 BST
Coronavirus in numbers

Europe’s worst-hit areas showed further signs of recovery as both Italy and Spain recorded falls in the daily death toll from coronavirus.

Angelo Borrelli, the head of Italy’s civil protection agency, said there had been 525 deaths reported over the previous 24 hours – the lowest daily total since 19 March.

Italy, which has been in lockdown for nearly a month, now has a total of 15,887 deaths and nearly 129,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19.

The number of patients in hospital and the number of occupied intensive care unit beds also continued to decrease, including in the most affected region of northern Lombardy.

However Mr Borelli warned that “this good news shouldn’t make us drop our guard”. The government has also indicated that restrictions on movement were likely to continue for several weeks yet.

Spain’s new virus deaths dropped for the third straight day, to 674 – the first time daily deaths have fallen below 800 in the past week – while the number of new infections also decreased to 6,023.

“We are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel,” prime minister Pedro Sanchez said.

France also reported a fall in the number of daily deaths to 357. Its total has now climbed to 8,078, although the figure includes fatalities in care homes. Many other countries only report hospital deaths.

And while the UK saw a slight drop in daily deaths from 708 to 621, most experts believe the nation is still a week away from reaching the peak of the outbreak,

Britain’s total has now reached 4,934 overall, with 47,806 cases, while Germany has seen 1,342 deaths and 91,714 cases.

Restrictions on movement vary from country to country across Europe. In Germany and Britain, residents can exercise and walk their dogs, as well as go to the supermarket and do other essential tasks.

In Sweden, where schools, bars and restaurants are still open, there have been 401 deaths and 6,830 confirmed cases.

The total number of deaths around the world approached 70,000 on Sunday night, while confirmed cases topped 1.25 million.

More than 335,000 of those are in the US, which seems set to be the next epicentre of the pandemic. Deaths across all 50 states neared 10,000 as Donald Trump gave his latest press conference on Sunday night. Over a quarter of those were concentrated in New York City.

Meanwhile, Greek authorities placed a second refugee camp near Athens into lockdown after a resident tested positive for coronavirus, officials announced on Sunday.

The country’s migration ministry said a 53-year-old Afghan man had been transferred from the Malakasa camp, which has a population of 1,270 people, to a hospital in the Greek capital.​

Greece was the main gateway into the European Union for more than a million people fleeing conflict throughout 2015 and 2016. More than 110,000 people currently live in migrant facilities across the country – 40,000 of them in overcrowded camps on five islands.

Additional reporting by agencies

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