efe-epaMadrid

Spain has reported zero Covid-19 deaths in the last 24 hours on Monday for the first time since March.

The country’s health ministry also recorded 71 fresh infections, the second consecutive day this figure has been under 100.

Spain has been one of the worst-affected countries in Europe by the coronavirus pandemic and has been easing its strict lockdown in recent weeks as the infection rate has been brought under control.

Authorities have recorded a total of 27,127 deaths and 239,638 confirmed infections since the outbreak emerged in the country more than three months ago.

Fernando Simón, who leads the country’s emergency public health department, said during his daily briefing: “The numbers maintain the same trend that we have observed in recent weeks.

“They keep us in a position where we can progressively lift the restriction measures.”

There have been 35 fatalities caused by the virus during the last seven days, according to a new recording system by health authorities to more accurately track the evolution of the contagion.

This included one death in the Madrid region and 11 in Catalonia, two of the worst-affected areas in Spain.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said on Sunday that he would request a sixth and final 15-day extension to the nation’s state of alarm.

The country is midway through a four-phase de-escalation plan, with different regions progressing according to their individual circumstances.

Sánchez also said the central government will hand control of the de-escalation process to regional authorities when they reach the third phase.

The extension to the state of alarm, which came into effect on 14 March, will see the period of nationwide restrictions in place until 21 June.

Regional leaders will have the power to decide whether provinces under their governance make the step from phase three to phase four, completing what the central government has termed the transition to a new normality.

The majority of Spain is currently in phase two of dismantling the lockdown but hotspots like Madrid and Barcelona remain on phase one.

A region must remain on a given phase for at least two weeks before it can request progressing to the next stage. EFE-EPA

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