Spain’s virus outbreak continues to slow down


Commuters wearing face masks to protect against coronavirus at Atocha train station in Madrid, Spain, Monday, April 13, 2020. Confronting both a public health emergency and long-term economic injury, Spain is cautiously re-starting some business activity to emerge from the nationwide near-total freeze that helped slow the country’s grim coronavirus outbreak. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

MADRID — The spread of the coronavirus outbreak in Spain continues to slow down, with 517 new deaths recorded overnight and with the lowest number of infections logged in more than three weeks, nearly 3,500.

The Spanish health ministry’s Monday figures bring the overall death toll of the pandemic in the country to 17,489 and the total positive cases to 169,496.

Heavy industry and construction workers are returning to work Monday after a two-week hiatus in economic activity, but the government is keeping most Spaniards under confinement for the fifth week in a row.

Retail stores and services are still required to stay closed, and the government is strongly encouraging office workers to keep working from home.

Some health experts and regional politicians argue that it’s premature to ease any part of the lockdown order. Police in Madrid handed out face masks to the few commuters taking public transportation to work in the early hours of Monday.

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