Coronavirus: Spain’s daily Covid-19 death toll drops below 100 for first time since March

Figures come as Pedro Sanchez seeks to extend state of emergency until end of June

Rory Sullivan
Sunday 17 May 2020 16:20 BST
A vendor wearing a facial mask sells fruits at Landaben street market in Pamplona, Spain, on 17 May 2020.
A vendor wearing a facial mask sells fruits at Landaben street market in Pamplona, Spain, on 17 May 2020. (EPA/Villar Lopez)

Spain’s daily Covid-19 death toll has fallen below 100 for the first time since March, the country’s health ministry has said.

The health minister announced on Sunday that regional authorities had confirmed 87 new deaths from the virus, the lowest daily number since 16 March.

At the peak of Spain’s coronavirus outbreak, more than 900 people were dying each day.

The country’s death toll now stands at 27,650, while the number of infections rose on Sunday by 652 to 231,350.

After bringing in one of Europe’s strictest lockdowns in mid-March, the rate of fatalities and infections have dropped significantly, allowing the government to ease some restrictions.

However, Fernando Simon, the health emergency chief, struck a note of caution by saying that Sunday’s low death figure may be down to reporting delays over the weekend.

The latest figures came the day after the prime minister Pedro Sanchez said he hoped to extend the country’s state of emergency until the end of June.

He will ask parliament to approve this latest extension.

Authorities are also thinking about extending the obligatory use of face masks on public transport to all public spaces.

Salvador Illa, the health minister, told reporters: "There is an ample consensus that we should reinforce the obligatory use of masks.”

Although restrictions on movement are being eased in other areas, Barcelona and Madrid, which have been particularly hard-hit by the disease, will be kept under a stricter lockdown. ​

Protests have taken place over the last week, with demonstrators airing their frustration at the government’s handling of the coronavirus crisis.

Agencies have contributed to this report

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