Coronavirus pandemic: updates from around the world

Coronavirus pandemic: updates from around the world
Commuters wear masks to protect against coronavirus on a platform at Atocha railway station in Madrid, Spain on Monday 4 May. Manu Fernandez / AP

Spain began its transition to a new phase of de-escalation towards a “new normal” on Monday, while the country’s health authorities report a second day of low infections and deaths from Covid-19.

The country is seeing “the lowest number of cases in two months” as a percentage, said Dr. Fernando Simón, Spanish director for health emergencies, speaking at the government’s daily technical briefing on coronavirus.

The Spanish Ministry of Health reported a low 0.16% increase in new cases of coronavirus infection confirmed by PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests, since Sunday.

The death toll has risen by 164 in the past 24 hours, bringing the cumulative death toll to 25,428 since the start of the pandemic in Spain.

The number of daily recoveries exceeds the new infections, but Simón warned that although the data is good, it does not “eliminate the risk” and noted that the positive data on coronavirus cases could be adapted in the coming days due to the delay reports of the weekend holidays.

Asked if the relaxation of the country’s restrictions will result in a new wave of infections, Simón said that health authorities are working on early detection to know the number of possible cases much faster.

Instead of [current] periods that can go up to 10, in some cases 15 days, we want this to be reduced, if possible, “said Simon, adding that” the goal is a maximum of 48 hours. “

Faster detection and monitoring “will ensure that from the moment you go from one phase to another, the regions are ready to respond correctly in case of [new] burst, ”explained Simón.

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Asked about the possibility of Spain using apps to track contagion, Simón said: “What we need to know is what added value these apps bring to the systems that we already have in place or that we are developing to track contacts.”

He also noted that Spain has restrictive data protection laws, so those should be taken into account “to be sure that they [the apps] do not violate other rights irreversibly. ”

Facilitated restrictions: Spain began an eight-week transition of severe restrictions on Monday, under the country’s state of emergency, in effect since March 14.

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