MADRID:Despite fears that the official figures may be seriously underestimating the number of deaths in Spain, the latest statistics from the country’s health ministry suggest that the lockdown strategy is continuing to work and that the virus is being slowed in its tracks.
Between Thursday and Friday, 605 people died from the virus – down from 683 during the previous 24 hours. The numbers were also well down on earlier this week, when the death toll rose about 740 for two consecutive days.
The growth rate of new cases is currently 3%, compared with a daily average of 12% at the end of March and 20% in mid-March.
Spain has now recorded 157,022 cases of Covid-19 and 15,843 deaths.
However, questions persist over the numbers: recently released data from judicial authorities in Madrid suggest that 6,600 more people than usual died in the last two weeks of March, compared with the official tally of 3,500 Covid-19 deaths in the region.
On Thursday, the Spanish congress approved another extension of the national lockdown that has been in force since a state of emergency was declared on 14 March. The confinement period will now last until 26 April, although the prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, has said another extension seems inevitable.
“I’m sure that in two weeks’ time I’ll have to extend the state of emergency again,” he told parliament.
( A Rainbow in Madrid with the writing,”we will resist”.)