As Madrid closes the massive makeshift hospital that was in the center of the fight against COVID-19, Spain registered 281 more COVID-19 deaths and 1,175 more infections on Friday.
The data released by the Ministry of Health suggest that cases continue to decline in the country. In total, over 215,000 active cases have so far been discovered and nearly 25,000 people have died.
The closing of IFEMA, Madrid’s largest conference center that was rapidly turned into a field hospital in late March, is a symbolic victory as the country looks towards easing its lockdown.
“This huge challenge is over thanks to the enthusiasm of so many people who wanted to help. The mission accomplished,” Dr. Antonio Zapatero, the temporary medical director of IFEMA, said on Twitter Friday.
IFEMA took in more than 4,000 COVID-19 patients, 17 of whom died, to ease pressure on hospitals in Spain’s capital. Beds will remain in IFEMA in case of a second wave. It will also continue assisting with logistics, but as of Friday all of its patients have been discharged.
On Friday, the Spanish government also published a decree that will allow people to exercise outdoors for the first time in seven weeks starting Saturday.
To avoid congestion, a strict timeline will be enforced.
Individuals between 14 and 70 years old can exercise outdoors only between 6:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m. local time. People older than 70 will be allowed out from 10:00 a.m.-12 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.- 8:00 p.m.. Children under 14 will be allowed to venture out, under the supervision of an adult from 12:00 p.m.- 7:00 p.m..
After May 9, more restrictions will be eased in regions of Spain deemed prepared.
On Friday, the Spanish government also released economic forecast for 2020. It estimates that the economy could contract by 9.2% and unemployment could rise to 19%.
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