Spain sees major coronavirus breakthrough as country eases lockdown

The news comes as Spain begins to ease lockdown restrictions for children. The Spanish health ministry announced on Sunday that 288 people died from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours.

It is the lowest reported daily death toll for the country since March 20.

Saturday’s death toll saw 378, showing a steep decline in the rate of deaths.

The health ministry said that the total number of fatalities for the country had now reached 23,190.

Fernando Simon, Director of the Spanish Health Alert and Emergency Co-Ordination Centre, welcomed the promising data.

He said: “For the first time in a long time, we are below 300.

“Although it may be hard to give these statistics, it’s a figure which indicates a clear, positive direction in the evolution of the epidemic.”

Mr Simon tested positive for coronavirus on March 30, and has since recovered.

READ MORE: UK coronavirus hospital deaths threaten to top Spain’s death toll – shock graph

Sunday also saw the announcement that children under the age of 14 are now allowed outside for one hour a day because of the reduction.

The new lockdown conditions allow Spain’s 6.3 million under-14s to leave their homes between 9am and 9pm, but without going further than one kilometre (0.6 mile).

Those over 13 are allowed to carry out errands for their parents, as has been the case throughout the lockdown.

However, parents tend to prefer not to send their children out, especially to enclosed places such as supermarkets, where there is a higher risk of infection.


The children are allowed to use bikes and skateboards, but public parks will remain closed.

All other lockdown conditions remain in place, and schools remain closed as the government considers loosening lockdown measures further in the second half of May.

Laura Piñeiro, a psychologist and the director in Madrid of the charity Asociación Bienestar Desarollo, praised the move.

She said to the BBC: “The change of routine, being outside and being in the sunlight – all of that is extremely important.”

Other countries have begun easing their measures after seeing through the worst of the pandemic.

Italy was the first European country to impose a lockdown in March, and have so far seen close to 200,000 infections and at least 26,384 deaths.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said manufacturing could restart as soon as May 4.

He has said however that schools will not reopen until September, and that additional measures will be announced in the coming week.

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