MADRID: Spain reported a consecutive drop for the second day in coronavirus-related deaths with 809 fatalities on Saturday, according to the official figures.
The total number of deaths in Spain now stands at 11,744, second only to Italy. A record 950 people died on Thursday.
The number of new cases also slowed at 7,026, taking the total to 124,736.
Recoveries over the last 24 hours stood at 3,706, taking that total to 34,219.
The Madrid region was the worst affected accounting for 40 percent of the deaths, 4,723, and 29 percent of the cases at 36,249. The northeastern region of Catalonia was in second place with 2,508 deaths.
Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez is due to decide whether to prolong the emergency measures and confinement declared on March 14 for another two weeks in order to get on top of the outbreak.
FIVE STAR HOTEL QUARANTINE
Meanwhile, the government ordered all hotels to shut to fight the pandemic, which has so far claimed 10,935 lives in Spain — the world’s second-highest toll after Italy.
Hotels across the country have been converted into medical care centres to free up beds in hospitals which have been flooded with COVID-19 cases.
In the Madrid region, the hardest-hit area in Spain and the first to adopt the measure, there are now just over 700 patients in quarantine in hotels.
In second-city Barcelona, hoteliers have made 2,500 beds available. The Melia Sarria opened to patients on March 29 and currently has 107 guests with 50 more expected each day until all 307 rooms are full.
“They are cases of people who are already OK, who have passed through the hospital and are in the final phase of their recovery here, in the hotel,” said Gemma Fanlo, a nurse at the facility.
Staff at a nearby health clinic work round the clock to monitor COVID-19 patients recovering in hotels or at home, either in person or virtually, while at the same time still treating people needing help for other ailments.
“Healthcare professionals are working longer hours, and are even working from home, to ensure no one is left untreated. We are working at full stretch,” said Belen Enfedaque, care director of Barcelona’s network of health care clinics.
Catalonia’s regional health minister Alba Verges said these workers were the “containment line” that is preventing admissions to already overloaded hospitals.