SPAIN’S President Pedro Sánchez has announced the distribution of over a million Covid-19 tests throughout the country to embark on mass testing in a bid to curb the spread of the virus. The tests are on the way to every region and the health authorities aim to carry out at least 20,000 Covid-19 tests a day.
Sánchez also plans to set up separate quarantine centres for confirmed coronavirus cases, for people showing little or no symptoms. During his weekly video conference calls with all the presidents of Spain’s regions, he also asked for a list of public and private buildings such as hotels, hostels and sports centres, which can be used as quarantine centres to house infected people, with few or no symptoms. The government is planning to follow a strategy used in countries like South Korea, which places anyone with the virus in quarantine centres away from their homes and families to stop the virus from spreading.
According to Health Ministry’s Coordination Centre for Health Alerts, María José Sierra, this process will help to contain the virus and mitigate further spread. Speaking at the daily government press conference, Sierra highlighted that 30,080 patients (29 per cent of the total infected) have recovered from the disease and have been discharged from hospital. “In most regions, the number of people who are hospitalised has fallen compared to previous days,” she explained.
The country is finally on a downward trend in terms of both new coronavirus cases and deaths too. Spain’s current death toll from the disease stands at 12,418, with fewer deaths reported in the last 24 hours – 674 compared to 809 on Saturday, according to the Health Ministry. Today’s figure is the lowest in 10 days, with the highest number of deaths reported on April 2, when it registered 950 fatalities in just 24 hours. New infections have also declined, increasing just 5 per cent in the last 24 hours – the lowest rate since the crisis began. The country now has 130,759 people diagnosed with the disease, with 6,023 new cases since yesterday. However, Sierra warned that today’s statistics should be viewed with cautious optimism, as it’s still early days.
At the meeting, Sanchez also discussed the progress of the coronavirus throughout the country, and the measures needed to combat its spread. This includes a new extension of the State of Alarm until April 26, decided yesterday, which is set to be approved by Congress on April 9.