Spain to lift lockdown; daily death toll falls down to 179

WION Web Team
MadridUpdated: May 09, 2020, 11:53 PM IST

Representative image Photograph:(Reuters)

Story highlights

The country's two biggest cities - Madrid and Barcelona - do not currently meet the criteria for easing and will remain on Phase 0.

As Spain's daily death toll fell to its second lowest since mid-March on Saturday, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has urged the Spaniards to maintain social distancing saying "the virus has not disappeared."

Spain has been able to contain the spread of coronavirus, and the daily death toll fell down to 179 on Saturday.

The country will be easing the lockdown on Monday. Healthy adults will be allowed to step out of the houses and go for walks. The European country is also planning to reopen churches, theatres, parks and other entertainment venues. However, no more than 10 people will be allowed in a gathering.

This is the Phase 1 of opening up the lockdown for Europe's strictest lockdown. The lockdown is being relaxed only in the regions which have shown significant signs of improvement. These areas will see reopening of museums, gyms and hotels for the first time in nearly two months, but with limited capacity.

However, Pedro has cautioned the people to not forget that the virus is still present amongst them until a vaccine is developed. 

"We've managed to retake 99% of the ground lost to the virus," said Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez in a televised address on Saturday.

The government has made sure the pedestrians have enough space to walk and breathe while maintaining social distancing, by increasing the pedestrian and cyclists lanes. 

As the country feared an economic fall, Spain's hotels will be allowed to operate open from Monday for groups of 10 people. This will give the needed boost to Spain's well-to-do tourism industry.

However, none of these rules will be eased down in Madrid and Barcelona. These two cities, that still face the danger of the spread of virus, are still in Phase 0 of lifting the lockdown. The government has assured the residents that the cities will move to Phase 1 as soon as some relief is seen.

Spanish PM has urged the people of Spain to cooperate and exercise caution, so that the country can move to Phase 2 in the next few weeks.

The cumulative death total rose to 26,478 while the number of diagnosed cases rose to 223,578 from 222,857 the day before, the health ministry said.