Spain reported its most new coronavirus cases and deaths in a week after government officials announced plans to roll back lock down restrictions in the second half of May. According to data from the Health Ministry released Thursday, there were 4,635 new infections in the past 24 hours. It brings the total number of cases diagnosed nationwide to 213,024 — more than any other European nation and the second most worldwide after the United States. The number of deaths rose to 440 compared to the 435 recorded Wednesday, which is an indication the rates are remaining mostly stable for now.
While Parliament on Wednesday announced its state of emergency would remain in place for two more weeks, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez indicated some measures would be eased in coming days. Spain has been under a nationwide lock-down since March 14 in a bid to curb the fast spread of COVID-19. In wake of mounting criticisms and protests, government officials announced children under the age of 14 would no longer be restricted to the indoors. Currently children are not allowed outside for any reason, but will be allowed to go on supervised walks starting on Sunday, according to BBC News.
The Prime Minister added that he hopes the rest of the nation’s restrictions will start getting rolled back in May, but warned “de-escalation will be slow. We must avoid missteps,” Sanchez added. “If we stay on top of the virus and our health system maintains and reinforces that impression, then we will propose another step.” Officials from Spain, and those from hard-hit Italy and France, in recent weeks have called for additional support when it comes to economic relief. Sanchez said he believes the EU leaders will agree on their common economic response plan during a European Council video summit scheduled for Thursday. –NY Daily