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Spain coronavirus death toll passes 16,000 – but health chiefs welcome slowdown in numbers

Spain coronavirus death toll passes 16,000 - but health chiefs welcome slowdown in numbers 1

But the figure has dropped for a third day in a row and marks the smallest overnight increase since March 23. The Spanish Health Ministry said total fatalities from the virus rose to 16,353, from 15,843 on Friday while the number of confirmed cases climbed to 161,852 from 157,022.

The slowdown in number of deaths will be seen as an encouraging sign for the country, which has suffered the third-highest number of casualties from the virus after Italy and the USA.

At the beginning of April, the overnight death tally rose as high as 950, overwhelming the health service and forcing regional authorities to set up temporary mortuaries in ice rinks and disused public buildings.

The government is now considering easing lockdown measures, which have kept most people confined to their homes since mid-March.

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From Monday, workers in sectors such as construction and manufacturing will be allowed to return to work, though the government extended restrictions on movement across Spain’s land borders with France and Portugal for another two weeks.

The latest figures from Madrid came as the global coronavirus death toll passed the 100,000 mark and the number of confirmed cases rose to 1.6 million.

Spain, along with the UK, Italy, France, Algeria and the Netherlands, is reporting that more than 10 percent of all confirmed cases have been fatal.

And while North America now accounts for more than 30 percent of cases worldwide, Europe has reported a disproportionate number of fatalities as countries with older populations such as Spain and Italy have been severely affected.

Southern Europe alone accounts for more than a third of global deaths, despite recording just 20 percent of cases.

BREAKING NEWS. MORE FOLLOWS…

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