Spain's Coronavirus Daily Death Toll Halves in Two Weeks As Country Relaxes Lockdown

The daily novel coronavirus death toll in Spain has dropped for the second consecutive day, falling to 499 on Tuesday from 547 on Monday. The latest daily death count is nearly half of what it was on April 1, when it recorded 923 new fatalities, according to the latest figures from Spain's Ministry of Health.

The latest drop came as Spain begins a partial easing of restrictions in the country, which has been in lockdown for several weeks in a bid to help curb the spread of the virus.

Spain has the third-highest death toll in the world, after Italy, with at least 18,579 fatalities reported as of Wednesday, according to the latest figures from Johns Hopkins University.

But the country has been turning a corner in recent weeks, seeing a slight flattening in the number of new cases and new deaths in the past few days.

The daily death count dropped for two successive days from April 9 to 11 before falling again on Monday from 603 on Sunday (April 12), the ministry reported.

While the number of new cases rose on Tuesday by nearly 700, the country saw its number of new cases drop for four consecutive days from April 10 to 13, including its lowest number of new infections since March 18 on Tuesday.

Health workers, Madrid, Spain, coronavirus, April 2020
Health workers of the Gregorio Maranon Hospital applaud to pay tribute to cleaning workers in Madrid on April 2, 2020 amid a national lockdown to fight the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Getty Images

Last Saturday, Spain recorded its lowest daily death toll in nearly 19 days, reporting 510 new deaths, the ministry confirmed in a statement.

Earlier this month, Spain saw one of its smallest spikes since the outbreak began, with a 6.8 percent increase in confirmed cases on April 3. The figure followed an increase of 7.9 percent reported on the previous day, according to the ministry.

The country has also reported a significant number of recoveries, with nearly 40 percent (at least 70,853 patients) of its infected population having recovered, as of Wednesday.

A few businesses in the country, including within the construction and manufacturing industries, were allowed to resume operations from Monday.

But Spain's Minister of Health Salvador Illa confirmed the country remains in lockdown, with shops, bars and public spaces remaining closed until at least April 26.

Face masks were handed out by police to any residents passing through transport hubs such as Madrid's Atocha railway train station, which is usually crowded but was used by only a few commuters this week. Most of the traffic was seen to be on public buses.

The novel coronavirus was first reported in Wuhan, China. It has spread to nearly two million people in at least 185 countries and regions. Over 500,000 have recovered, while more than 127,600 have died, as of Wednesday.

The graphic below, provided by Statista, illustrates the spread of COVID-19 across the globe.

statista, covid19, coronavirus,
A map showing COVID-19 cases worldwide as of April 15, 2020. Statista

Data on COVID-19 cases is from Johns Hopkins University unless otherwise stated.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advice on Using Face Coverings to Slow Spread of COVID-19

  • CDC recommends wearing a cloth face covering in public where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
  • A simple cloth face covering can help slow the spread of the virus by those infected and by those who do not exhibit symptoms.
  • Cloth face coverings can be fashioned from household items. Guides are offered by the CDC. (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html)
  • Cloth face coverings should be washed regularly. A washing machine will suffice.
  • Practice safe removal of face coverings by not touching eyes, nose, and mouth, and wash hands immediately after removing the covering.

World Health Organization advice for avoiding spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

Hygiene advice

  • Clean hands frequently with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Wash hands after coughing or sneezing; when caring for the sick; before, during and after food preparation; before eating; after using the toilet; when hands are visibly dirty; and after handling animals or waste.
  • Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your hands, nose and mouth. Do not spit in public.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing. Discard the tissue immediately and clean your hands.

Medical advice

  • Avoid close contact with others if you have any symptoms.
  • Stay at home if you feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and runny nose, to avoid potential spread of the disease to medical facilities and other people.
  • If you develop serious symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) seek medical care early and contact local health authorities in advance.
  • Note any recent contact with others and travel details to provide to authorities who can trace and prevent spread of the disease.
  • Stay up to date on COVID-19 developments issued by health authorities and follow their guidance.

Mask and glove usage

  • Healthy individuals only need to wear a mask if taking care of a sick person.
  • Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
  • Masks are effective when used in combination with frequent hand cleaning.
  • Do not touch the mask while wearing it. Clean hands if you touch the mask.
  • Learn how to properly put on, remove and dispose of masks. Clean hands after disposing of the mask.
  • Do not reuse single-use masks.
  • Regularly washing bare hands is more effective against catching COVID-19 than wearing rubber gloves.
  • The COVID-19 virus can still be picked up on rubber gloves and transmitted by touching your face.