World, Europe, Latest on coronavirus outbreak

Half of Spain eases lockdown as deaths drop again

Many Spanish businesses opening up to public for first time in nearly 2 months

Alyssa McMurtry   | 11.05.2020
Half of Spain eases lockdown as deaths drop again

OVIEDO, Spain

As slightly over half of Spain’s population wakes up Monday to eased lockdown measures, the country saw new deaths and infections drop to lows not seen for weeks.

On Monday, Spain’s Health Ministry confirmed 123 more COVID-19 deaths -- the lowest number since March 18. In total, 26,744 fatalities in Spain have been confirmed so far.

The country also registered 373 new active cases, the lowest daily rise in more than two months. Spain has confirmed a total of 227,436 active cases. Of those cases, nearly 123,000 had to be hospitalized and more than 137,000 have recovered.

Spain has the second-most confirmed cases in the world and one of the highest COVID-19 death rates per capita.

Today, parts of Spain that contain 51% of the country’s population, are taking the first major step towards easing the strict national lockdown that took effect on March 14.

The outdoor terraces of places like cafes and restaurants can officially open at 50% capacity.

Small shops can also open to the public for the first time, many of which were previously operating only under a reservation system.

Groups of up to 10 people can gather in homes or public spaces.

Although residents may now move across provinces or cities, to a shop or terrace at any time during opening hours, exercise remains restricted to certain hours. People aged between 14 and 70, for instance, can only go for a walk, jog or bike ride before 10 a.m. or after 8 p.m. local time.

The rest of Spain, including cities like Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia, remain under stricter measures until they meet certain metrics related to the disease’s spread and healthcare system capacity.

After originating in China last December, COVID-19 has spread to at least 187 countries and regions. Europe and the US are currently the worst-hit regions.

The pandemic has killed nearly 283,000 worldwide, with total infections exceeding 4.11 million, while recoveries surpassed 1.41 million, according to figures compiled by the US’ Johns Hopkins University.

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