Spain to extend coronavirus lockdown through May 9

By: AFP      Published: 02:23 AM, 19 Apr, 2020
Spain to extend coronavirus lockdown through May 9
An empty square is pictured in Palma de Mallorca on April 10 during a national lockdown to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 disease.–AFP file photo

Spain, one of the countries hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic, is to extend its nationwide lockdown until May 9, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced Saturday.

Restrictions on movements would be loosened slightly however to allow children time outside from April 27, he added.

Spain, which has been under lockdown since March 14, has recorded 20,043 deaths from the virus, according to the latest official figures.

"We have done the hardest part through responsibility and social discipline... we are putting the most extreme moments behind us," Sanchez said. 

He nonetheless insisted that Spaniards should not put at risk the fragile and insufficent gains made so far with hasty decisions. The end to the confinement would be "prudent and progressive", he said.