2:12 p.m. ET, May 19, 2020
Spain coronavirus deaths under 100 for third day as protests for reopening grow
Healthcare workers tend to coronavirus patients at the Intensive Care Unit of the La Paz University Hospital in Madrid on April 23.
Pierre-Philippe Marcou/AFP/Getty Images
The number of daily deaths in Spain due to Covid-19 rose slightly by 83 on Monday, but were still less than 100 for the third consecutive day, figures reported by the Spanish Health Ministry on Tuesday show.
The most recent three daily death tolls are the lowest reported in more than two months in the country, where the total number of deaths stands at more than 27,700.
Meanwhile, in a sudden pivot, the Spanish government said on Tuesday it will seek a two-week extension for its state of emergency order during the coronavirus crisis, but not the one-month extension that the Prime Minister had announced just last weekend.
Some background: The last-minute change comes as the Socialist minority government scrambles to garner enough votes in Parliament on Wednesday to approve any extension of the confinement order, which has been subjected to increasing attacks from opposition leaders.
For weeks, people opposed to the government have been loudly banging pots from their windows and balconies in the evenings. But starting in an upscale conservative Madrid neighborhood last week, the protests took to the streets, with the support of right-wing groups and parties. People draped in Spanish flags, and others, have demanded that their basic right to free movement which is restricted by the state of emergency, be restored.
But Finance Minister Maria Jesus Montero, also the chief government spokesperson, told a press conference today that the protesters “are asking for freedom of movement. That’s the freedom to get infected” with coronavirus, she said.