Madrid Desk, May 3 (efe-epa).- The number of daily coronavirus deaths in Spain fell to the lowest number in more than six weeks on Sunday.
The country’s health ministry reported 164 fatalities within the last 24 hours, the smallest figure since 18 March.
Spain has been one of the worst affected countries in the world by the Covid-19 pandemic, with a total of 25,264 deaths out of a population of almost 47 million.
There have been 217,466 confirmed cases in the country and the rate of new infections has also been declining with 838 new cases confirmed by PCR tests in the last 24 hours.
A total of 118,902 patients have recovered from the disease, with 1,247 discharged from hospitals over the past day.
Spain has the second-highest number of infections in the world, after the United States, and the fourth-highest death toll, after the US, Italy and the United Kingdom.
The government has announced a four-phase de-escalation plan to ease the country out of its strict lockdown, which saw residents allowed to exercise outside on Saturday for the first time in more than seven weeks.
In Italy, which will move to its second phase of de-escalation on Monday, prime minister Giuseppe Conte called for caution among the population.
The head of the government warned that “careless gestures or, worse still, a collective elimination effort (of the measures)” needs to be avoided.
Italy, home to 60 million people, has reported 28,710 deaths and more than 209,000 cases and has begun a slow and gradual easing of restrictions on the movement of people and the resumption of economic activity.
Portugal has also been preparing to relax restrictions, with hairdressers and shops up to 200 square meters in size and with direct street access allowed to open from Monday.
Residents were in the first day of a “state of calamity”, one level below a state of emergency, which will remain in place as the nation reopens and a “new normal” is established.
This process is due to take place in three phases, with the last one scheduled to start on 1 June.
Portugal, which has a population of 10 million, has reported 1,023 deaths and more than 25,000 infections, with authorities announcing that the contagion curve is currently under control.
Priests and congregations in Croatia celebrated their first religious services together on Sunday after they were suspended for more than a month during lockdown.
The country, home to 4.5 million inhabitants, has reported a total of 2,088 infections and 77 deaths from the pandemic and began a three-step de-escalation on Monday.
This included the reopening of stores and the resumption of urban public transport, and from next week outpatient clinics will reopen for non-urgent treatments, as well as hairdressers and similar services.
Social distancing measures were still in place in the country, including wearing masks and maintaining a minimum distance between people.
The French government has prepared a bill to hold municipal elections in autumn after they were postponed due to the coronavirus crisis with a controversial first round going ahead on 15 March on the eve of the country’s lockdown.
There have been 168,500 confirmed cases and 24,700 deaths in the country, home to 67 million people. EFE-EPA