Madrid, April 14 (IANS) Spain on Tuesday completed a month in confinement due to the coronavirus pandemic as thousands of non-essential workers returned to their posts with hopes of further de-escalation measures on the horizon.
The government lifted a two-week period of economic suspension on Monday but many employees did not take up their roles again until the following day because of Easter holidays, reports Efe news.
This included the city of Barcelona, where police were seen checking peoples’ work passes on public transport as thousands went back to their posts on Tuesday.
Strict measures were imposed to contain the impact of the pandemic on the country’s overstretched ICUs.
Spain has been one of the worst-affected countries by the outbreak, with 170,099 cases and 17,756 deaths, according to figures from the John Hopkins University in the US.
Around 64,700 have recovered from the disease, almost 40 per cent of the total, making it the country with the highest level of coronavirus hospital discharges.
The rate of fresh infections and deaths in the country have been slowing, with 517 fatalities recorded on Monday and a 2 per cent rise in new cases, the lowest since the start of Spain’s outbreak.
Health Minister Salvador Illa said at a press briefing on Monday the country had “passed the peak of the epidemic” and that the target this week was to “flatten the curve”.
Spain has the toughest restrictive measures in Europe, with residents only allowed to leave their homes alone to buy essential items.