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Spain records lowest single-day death toll in two months

  • Spain records lowest single-day death toll in two months
    Spain records lowest single-day death toll in two months
Region:
Europe
Category:
Society
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By EFE , Reuters
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Protests against the government’s handling of the crisis and its economic fallout sprang up around Spain on Saturday, with demonstrators gathering to bang pots and pans and call for the government to resign.

According to the latest figures from the health ministry, 87 people have died from Covid-19 in the past 24 hours, down from 102 the day before. The country has confirmed 231,350 cases of the virus using PCR tests, and reported 27,650 deaths.

On Saturday the prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, announced that his Socialist-led coalition would be seeking a final, month-long extension of the state of emergency that underpins one of the strictest lockdowns in Europe.

“The path that we are taking is the only one possible,” said Sanchez. The government secured the current extension, which expires on 24 May, despite fierce opposition from the conservative People’s party and the far-right Vox party.

Both parties claim the state of emergency is excessive and no longer necessary, but the government says Spain’s hard-won gains against the virus must be safeguarded. Sánchez is likely to face another uphill struggle as he prepares to ask MPs to back the final extension in congress later this week.

Around 70% of the country will be in the second phase of de-escalation by Monday, meaning people can shop in small stores without an appointment, meet in groups of up to 10, and eat or drink in cafe and restaurant terraces, which are operating at 50% capacity.

Despite some loosening of restrictions, the Madrid region and the Barcelona metropolitan area - two of the hardest-hit parts of Spain - remain in the first phase of the de-escalation.

Protests against the government’s handling of the crisis and its economic fallout sprang up around Spain on Saturday, with demonstrators gathering to bang pots and pans and call for the government to resign.

At the largest such demonstration, in Madrid’s wealthy Salamanca neighbourhood, several hundred people congregated despite the efforts of police to enforce social-distancing.

Waving Spanish flags and crying “viva España!” some denounced the leftist government as communists seeking to ruin the country.