Spain to hand out masks at metro stations as people return to work
A healthcare worker wearing a protective suit pushes a patient on a wheelchair outside the Severo Ochoa Hospital in Leganes, near Madrid, on April 10, 2020, during a national lockdown to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 disease. Spain has recorded its lowest daily death toll from the new coronavirus in 17 days, with 605 people dying, the government said.–AFP
Spain will begin handing out masks at metro and train stations on Monday as some companies re-open after a two-week “hibernation” period, the health minister said Friday.
The news came as Spain recorded its lowest daily death toll from the new coronavirus in 17 days, with 605 fatalities reported over the past 24 hours.
The update raised the overall number of deaths to 15,843 in Spain, which has suffered one of the worst outbreaks of COVID-19 in the world, and where the total number of confirmed cases now stands at 157,022.
On March 30, Spain toughened its nationwide lockdown, halting all non-essential activities until after Easter as it sought to further curb the spread of the virus.
The measure particularly targeted the construction and manufacturing sectors.
The government will distribute masks in metro or interurban train stations “where usage is recommended” and where work will resume after the Easter weekend “on Monday or Tuesday,” Health Minister Salvador Illa said.
But there would be no further easing of the drastic national lockdown, in place across the country since March 14, with Illa saying such measures would be enough to avoid “a resurgence of cases”.
Friday’s figures showed the growth in the number of deaths slowing to four percent, down from just under five percent on Thursday and from more than 27 percent on March 25.
The growth rate in the number of infections also slowed, with 4,576 new cases over the past 24 hours, while the number of people who recovered from the virus rose to 55,688.
Although health chiefs say the pandemic has peaked, they have urged the population to continue observing the ongoing lockdown restrictions which will remain in place until April 25 and likely be extended into May.