MADRID (Reuters) – The number of coronavirus infections in Spain rose by 55,019 on Monday, the biggest increase since the start of the pandemic and more than double the increase of 25,595 new infections on Friday, health ministry data showed.
The death toll went up by 379, bringing the total number of coronavirus fatalities to 36,257 in Spain, which approved a six-month state of emergency last week to try to curb the second wave of contagion.
The 379 deaths was the sharpest one-day rise during the second wave, though still a far cry from nearly 900 at the peak of the first wave of the pandemic in late March.
The big jump in infections could partly be explained by an accumulation of cases over a three-day bank holiday weekend in Spain.
The official cumulative number of infections now stands at 1,240,697, but Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has said the real total is likely to be above 3 million, based on prevalence studies and estimates.
The northern region of Asturias asked for permission on Monday from the Spanish government to impose a two-week home lockdown as the pressure on health services reached breaking point.
“What most worries is the rise in hospital cases, more than the first wave and above all in intensive care. This could push our health service to the limit,” Asturias regional president Adrian Barbón told a press conference.
However, Spain’s health minister Salvador Illa refused the region permission to impose a full lockdown, saying authorities in Asturias should wait to see the effects of a curfew and other restrictions imposed under the state of emergency.
Dr. Rafael Bengoa, co-founder of Bilbao’s Institute for Health and Strategy, predicted Spain would impose a home lockdown within two weeks because the rate of infection was not slowing down.
“With the current measures, they are not lowering the infection rates, and it is necessary to go to the next level, a March-April type confinement,” he told Catalunya Radio on Sunday.
(This story corrects to remove word “daily” from headline and first sentence)
(Reporting by Graham Keeley; Editing by Bill Berkrot and Bernadette Baum)
Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.
MADRID — Spain’s total number of COVID-19 infections has climbed to more than 1,240,000, but the government said Monday it won’t be introducing stricter lockdown conditions for now.
Over the weekend, a spate of violent protests in a dozen cities were held in response to a nightly curfew introduced last week in Spain. Mostly young protesters set fire to vehicles and trash cans, blocked roads and threw objects at riot police.
Spain’s Minister for Inclusion, Social Security and Migration, José Luis Escrivá told Antena 3 television Monday that “this kind of behavior is to be expected” as people grow weary of restrictions against the spread of COVID-19.
The Health Ministry reported just over 55,000 new cases in Spain since it last published official figures on Friday. More than 36,000 people have died in Spain since the pandemic began.
Asturias, a region on the north coast, asked the national government to order people in the province to stay at home for two weeks.
The Health Ministry refused, saying it is waiting to see the results of the central government’s latest restrictions, introduced last week. A strict lockdown from March to June brought down the number of cases but hit the economy hard.
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:
— America stands at a crossroads the day before Election Day, facing a stark choice between candidates in the midst of historic pandemic
— U.S. hospitals are scrambling to hire more nurses as the coronavirus pandemic surges, leading to stiff competition and increased costs.
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— Follow AP’s coronavirus pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:
GENEVA — A top World Health Organization scientist focusing on the coronavirus response says there has been no transmission or clusters at the agency’s Geneva headquarters.
Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s technical lead on the COVID-19 pandemic, made the comments to reporters after the U.N. agency’s chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, announced that he was starting a self-quarantine after coming into contact with a person who tested positive for the virus.
“I am well and without symptoms, but will self quarantine in the coming days in line with WHO protocols,” Tedros said via video conference from his home during a regular WHO news conference on Monday.
Van Kerkhove said the agency was tracking all cases among staff and carrying out contact tracing to ensure that transmission wasn’t taking place at its Geneva headquarters.
“We haven’t had any transmission take place on the premises, and we have no clusters on the premises,” she said. “But it is something that we’re monitoring every day.”
O’FALLAN, Mo. — Missouri hospital leaders are raising alarms about bed capacity as coronavirus cases continue to spike, with some urging Gov. Mike Parson to issue a statewide mask mandate.
Meanwhile, an eastern