Spain aims to reduce pressures on hospitals as it aims at stabilising numbers

A woman wearing a protective face mask walks, as some Spanish provinces are allowed to ease lockdown restrictions during phase one, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Barcelona, Spain, May 28, 2020. REUTERS/Nacho Doce

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Spain registered more than 23,000 new COVID-19 cases since Friday. Despite the high numbers, the health emergency chief Fernando Simon said on Monday, that these are indicative that the infection rate had declined slightly from an Aug. 21 peak.

Data from the health ministry showed 2,489 new cases were diagnosed in the past 24 hours, bringing the total since the onset of the pandemic to 462,858.

“Of course we are worried because we have to stabilise and bring down the infection chain,” Health Minister Salvador Illa told Catalonia’s regional TV channel 324 late on Monday, adding that the goal is to avoid pressuring hospitals.

In France, the Paris local municipality said on Monday that it would look to make free Covid-19 testing available in all of the capital’s 20 districts (arrondissements), as authorities battle against signs of a re-emergence of the virus in France. As an additional measure, face masks have been made compulsory throughout Paris with the measure applying to all pedestrians, cyclists and those riding electric scooters in the French capital and three neighbouring departments – except children under 11 and people carrying out physical exercise, whether running or cycling.

In Italy, the fall in the daily tally of new coronavirus cases in Italy continued Monday by dropping below 1,000, to 996, from Sunday’s rise of 1,365. The number of new victims rose, to six from four Sunday. The overall death toll is now 35,483, the health ministry said.

On Monday, the EU said that it will dedicate €400 million towards COVAX, a program to provide global access to an eventual COVID-19 vaccine. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen confirmed the news, which was welcomed by the WHO.