Coronavirus | Spain’s PM to ask for extension till May 9

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Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Saturday he would ask parliament for a third 15-day extension of the lockdown imposed to curb one of the world’s worst outbreaks of the new coronavirus, taking the restrictions up to May 9.

Also read: Coronavirus | Spain’s death toll curve flattening at last

Mr. Sanchez said he wanted to relax restrictions on children, who would be allowed out of their homes after April 27, though that allowance would be “limited and subject to conditions to avoid contagion”. He did not go into further details.

Spain has begun to ease a strict lockdown imposed on March 14 and this week opened up some sectors of the economy, including manufacturing. But most people are still confined to their houses except for essential outings including shopping for food.

Death toll rose at slower pace

Spain’s death toll from coronavirus rose at a slower pace on Saturday but surpassed 20,000 fatalities as the government mulled whether to ask parliament for a third extension of the confinement imposed in one of the world’s hardest hit countries.

The number of deaths increased by 565 on Saturday, down from a rise of 585 on Friday, the Health Ministry said. The number of coronavirus cases rose to 191,726 from 188,068.

Also read: Global coronavirus cases near a million as Spain sees record deaths

“The data of hospitalised, deceased and ICU admissions have maintained a downward trend the past few days,” said health emergency chief Fernando Simon at a press briefing, adding that he hoped to see a steeper decrease soon.

Mr. Simon said he expected a significant rise in registered coronavirus cases as the number of quick tests conducted has doubled in the past three weeks, but stressed that the tests have shown a lower infection rate among citizens.

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