Ministers discuss new lockdown extension as Covid-19 fatalities in Spain remain stable

A National Police officer walks past healthcare staff inside hospital grounds in Porto Cristo, Mallorca.
A National Police officer walks past healthcare staff inside hospital grounds in Porto Cristo, Mallorca. / EFE
  • An extension to the lockdown, due to end on 26 April, is still highly likely - but children's welfare has become a major talking point

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez will shortly decide with ministers whether to extend the state of alarm beyond the current 26 April expiry date, and any extension will be debated and approved in parliament by MPs next next Wednesday, 22 April.

Ministers weren't being drawn this week on the extent to which any lockdown measures might be gradually lifted within the state of alarm, but the wellbeing of children, who have not been allowed out at all since the start of the lockdown, has become a major talking point.

Speaking on Wednesday, Health minister Salvador Illa said he was convinced "we are going in the right direction". Asked if it might be possible to let children go out to exercise at least, he said he was "following the day-to-day evolution of the epidemic so that when possible, and in an orderly way, boys and girls can go out into the street".

Latest case numbers

The number of coronavirus-related deaths in Spain continues to plateau with new daily recorded deaths having remained at around the 500 mark for most of the last week.

On Friday the ministry of Health reported 585 deaths from Covid-19 in the previous 24 hours, 34 more than the 551 reported on Thursday, taking the total in Spain up to 19,478.

The government has pointed out that the figures over the next few days could be a little confusing as readjustments are made to unify the criteria used by the different regional Health authorities responsible for compiling the data.

The number of new infections reported on Friday was 5,252, more than Thursday's figure of 5,183, although the rise was being put down to the increase in the number of tests being carried out with the return to work in some sectors on Monday.

More testing

"We knew that increasing the number of tests would increase the number of confirmed cases, and we knew that this would compromise us when reporting them," explained Fernando Simón, director of the government's centre for Health Alerts and Emergencies on Thursday.

"I think it's good news that more than 40,000 tests have been performed in the last few days. This doubles what we were doing in the previous weeks. We are making a big effort across the country to identify and isolate all those cases that could be dangerous for the rest of the population," he said.

Data showed 182,816 people have tested positive for Covid-19 by Thursday since the start of the crisis. While this number continues to grow, so does the number of patients given the all-clear, which now totals 74,797 (40.9 per cent of those who have contracted the disease). Between Wednesday and Thursday, 3,944 people were discharged - the highest daily figure so far.

Malaga's figures

Locally, there had been a total of 2,494 cases and 214 deaths in Malaga province by Friday, which was 66 cases and 3 deaths more than the previous day reported.

The number of new deaths has fallen, however, as 10 were reported on Thursday.

Across all Andalucía there are still 315 patients in intensive care wards with Covid-19.