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Spain sees falls in new COVID-19 deaths, cases

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The Spanish Ministry of Health, Consumer Affairs and Social Welfare on Saturday confirmed falls in the number of new deaths and cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

The ministry reported that 48 people lost their lives to COVID-19 in the 24 hours until midnight on Friday, down from 56 confirmed a day earlier, taking the death toll in Spain to 28,678.

The same period also saw a fall in the number of new cases detected by PCR tests, which discover if the coronavirus is active in the body. The ministry reported 361 new infections, down from 446 a day earlier, bringing the total cases to 235,290.

In a televised speech to the nation Saturday, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez declared ten days of national mourning for the victims of COVID-19.

He also announced that from the start of July, Spain would “reopen for the arrival of foreign tourists in conditions that guarantee safety.”

(XINHUA)

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Spain reports steep increase in coronavirus cases, one new death

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Spanish health authorities on Wednesday reported a sharp increase in the number of new coronavirus cases and confirmed one new death in a 24-hour period.

In the previous two 24-hour periods, no new deaths were registered for the first time since the pandemic began. To date, Spain has confirmed a total of 27,128 deaths from the virus.

Spanish health authorities also said that 63 people had lost their lives to the virus in the past seven days, which appears to conflict with the count on Tuesday that 34 deaths had occurred in the previous week. The discrepancy may be due to delays in collecting data from Spain’s 17 autonomous communities.

Wednesday also saw an increase in the number of new COVID-19 cases. Health authorities reported 219 new infections, compared with 71 cases in the previous 24-hour period, taking the total number of confirmed cases to 240,326.

Madrid and Catalonia once again reported the majority of the new cases, with 150 of the day’s 219 infections coming from these two communities.

(XINHUA)

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Spain’s leader calls on parliament to extend state of emergency

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Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, on Wednesday in Madrid called on parliament to approve a sixth and final extension to the country’s controversial state of emergency.

Lawmakers are expected to approve his request for an extension to run through to June 20, thanks to support from Ciudadanos and several regional parties.

“The virus is an enemy and we must use politics to fight it together,” the leftist prime minister said, directing his comments toward conservative lawmakers, who plan to vote against his call.

“The worst is over,” Sanchez added, noting that the state of emergency had helped to contain the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

He warned that continued caution was needed as restrictions to stem the virus’ spread had been eased.

Spain’s state of emergency is opposed by the conservative People’s Party, the largest opposition group, and the right-wing populist Vox, the third-largest group in parliament, who accuse Sanchez of destroying the country’s economy.

Street protests have been held in defiance of restrictions to prevent the virus from spreading, and opponents have labelled Sanchez a dictator.

Under the current state of emergency, Spaniards may not leave the province where they live.

The country’s borders are closed to tourists until July 1.

Spain, one of the countries worst affected by the virus, has recorded more than 27,000 deaths and around 240,000 infections.

The figures are steadily improving, however, and Tuesday was the second day in a row when no new deaths related to COVID-19 were recorded.

Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)

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2 killed in train accident in northern Spain

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Two people were killed after a train with more than 150 people on board hit a car on the tracks in northern Spain on Tuesday, local media said.

The accident happened at around 16:11 local time (1411 GMT). A four-wheel drive vehicle fell off a bridge and landed on the train line, causing the front wagon of the train to be derailed, local media said.

The car’s driver and a train’s machinist were killed, and another train driver was seriously injured and taken to hospital, local media said.

(XINHUA)

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Spain set to introduce tax on single-use plastics

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The Spanish government will introduce a tax on single-use plastics which will generate an income of 724 million euros (808 million U.S. dollars), the country’s Minister for Ecological Transition Teresa Ribera confirmed on Tuesday.

Ribera announced the move at a press conference following Tuesday’s weekly cabinet meeting, explaining that under a new law on waste and soil contamination, single-use plastics would be subject to an indirect tax of 0.45 euros per kilogram.

“It is a tax that will fall on the manufacture, import or inter-community (EU) acquisition of non-reusable plastic containers that will be used in the Spanish market,” she said.

The minister said the tax “responds to the recommendations made by the European Commission, which have highlighted in numerous reports that Spain has a margin to improve its ‘green’ fiscal measures.”

Under the new law, restaurants would be obliged to offer customers the option of tap water in a glass container with their meals, and from July 3, 2021, it will also be forbidden to introduce items such as cotton buds which have a plastic stem, plastic cutlery, plates and drinking straws into the Spanish market.

The law aims to reduce the use of such items by 50 percent by 2026 and by 70 percent by 2030, while promoting their replacement by reusable or recyclable non-plastic alternatives. (1 euro = 1.12 U.S. dollar)

(XINHUA)

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No new deaths from coronavirus registered in Spain

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Spain didn’t register a single death from the coronavirus on Sunday, and the toll remained at 27,127, according to the data published by the country’s health authorities on Monday.

Fernando Simon, director of the Coordination Centre for Health Alerts and Emergencies at the Ministry of Health confirmed that they had “not received notification of anyone passing away yesterday (Sunday). That is very good news.”

There was also a fall in new cases of COVID-19. The Health Ministry reported 71 new infections, 25 fewer compared with the 96 reported 24 hours earlier, taking the total to 239,638.

(XINHUA)

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Spain receives no foreign tourists in April over COVID-19 lockdown: report

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Spain did not receive any foreign tourists or any income from tourism in April due to the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, according to data from the Spanish Statistical Office (INE) on Monday.

In a monthly report, the INE said this follows a drop of 64 percent in the number of international tourist arrivals in March, as the country closed to foreign visitors from March 15.

Meanwhile, the fact that travel restrictions remained in place throughout May means that the month that has just finished will also end with zero tourists from abroad and zero income from the sector.

By contrast, Spain welcomed 7.2 million tourists from abroad in April 2019, with each tourist spending an average of 990 euros (1,100 United States dollars) to generate a total income of 7,095 million euros during the month.

Spain welcomed around 84 million foreign tourists in 2019, with the sector creating around 12 percent of the country’s GDP.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said a week ago that Spain will end its quarantine restrictions to allow foreign tourists to return to the country in July. (1 euro = 1.11 United States dollars)

(XINHUA)

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Spain registers 96 new COVID-19 infections, two new deaths

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Two more COVID-19 patients had died in a 24-hour period until midnight on Saturday in Spain, bringing the country’s toll to 27,127, according to fresh figures on Sunday.

For the past seven days, 39 confirmed deaths from COVID-19 were reported.

Spain‘s health authorities also reported 96 new infections in the 24-hour period, compared with 271 new cases reported in the previous 24-hour span, taking the total number of confirmed cases to 239,429.

Of the 96 new cases, 42 came from the regions of Madrid and Catalonia, while six of Spain‘s 17 Autonomous Communities, including Valencia and the Basque Region, reported no new cases in the 24-hour period.

Also on Sunday, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez confirmed that he would ask the Spanish parliament for a sixth extension to the current State of Alarm, which limits freedom of movement to help control the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a televised speech, Sanchez said the “final and definitive” extension, which would come into effect on June 8 and last until June 21, would be “different” and “much lighter” than the previous ones, but would be “necessary” to help his government control the relaxation of confinement measures.

(XINHUA)

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Spain’s coronavirus death toll rises by 4 to 27,125

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Spain reported four new coronavirus deaths in the 24-hour period until midnight Friday, raising the country’s death toll to 27,125, said the Ministry of Health, Consumer Affairs and Social Services on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the country reported a sharp rise of 271 new cases, bringing the nationwide total to 239,228, compared with a rise of 187 cases in the previous 24-hour period.

Of the new cases, 183 were registered in the regions of Madrid and Catalonia, while 13 of Spain‘s 17 Autonomous Communities reported less than 10 new cases in the last 24 hours, according to the ministry.

(XINHUA)

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Spain considering opening “tourist corridors” before July

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The Spanish government is considering opening up safe “corridors” to allow foreign tourists to visit the Balearic and Canary Islands in the second half of June, Spanish Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism Reyes Maroto was quoted by local media as saying on Saturday.

Spain received around 84 million tourists in 2019 with income from tourism making up 13 percent of the country’s GDP and providing 12 percent of jobs, but the ongoing health crisis has put the sector on hold. There is a 14-day quarantine requirement for the arrivals from foreign countries until July 1 to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

But in an interview published in the La Vanguardia newspaper, Maroto said the government was considering easing restrictions for the two island groups which are among Spain‘s key tourist destinations.

“The islands have offered making these corridors and we will also talk to other Autonomous Communities to see if they are interested in corridors and what guarantees they could give us,” said Maroto.

Both the Canary and the Balearic Islands are currently in the third stage (Phase 2) of the Spanish government’s plan to ease restrictions. The small islands of El Hierro, La Graciosa and La Gomera (Canary Islands) and Formentera (Balearic Islands) will move into the fourth stage (Stage 3) on Monday.

Maroto added that “it is very important that the first tourists are tourists from countries which are in the same conditions as us and also in condition to fly safely.”

(XINHUA)

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