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After 3 week-low, Spain's overnight coronavirus death toll rises, total at 16,972

After 3 week-low, Spain's overnight coronavirus death toll rises, total at 16,972

Spain’s total death toll from the coronavirus climbed to 16,972 from 16,353. Overall cases rose to 166,019 from 161,852.

Spain's government has set out guidelines for people returning to work under a loosening of lockdown restrictions. (Photo: Reuters)
Spain’s overnight death toll from the coronavirus rose to 619 on Sunday from a nearly three-week low of 510 on Saturday, the Health Ministry said, breaking a three-day streak of daily declines.
The country’s total death toll from the virus climbed to 16,972 from 16,353, the ministry said in a statement. Overall cases rose to 166,019 from 161,852.
Spain's government on Saturday set out guidelines for people returning to work under a loosening of lockdown restrictions. Most Spaniards have been confined to their homes since mid-March with only businesses in sectors deemed strategically important allowed to operate normally.
However, from Monday, some other industries such as construction and manufacturing will be allowed to restart, enabling thousands to return to work.
Under guidelines issued by the prime minister's office on Saturday, companies returning to work must provide appropriate protective equipment and ensure employees have space to be at least two metres apart.
Amid concerns it may be too early to begin unwinding the lockdown measures, however, Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska sought to downplay the change in the rules.
"We are still in the confinement phase... We haven't begun any relaxation (of the restrictions)" he said at a joint press conference with Health Minister Salvador Illa.
Security forces will distribute 10 million masks at public transport hubs in the coming days, Marlaska said, adding that their use was recommended but not compulsory.
But some politicians criticised the government for failing to provide details of its plans.
"Neither the Madrid region nor any other local transport authority has any information about the distribution of masks announced by the Health Minister," Madrid's transport chief Angel Garrido wrote in a tweet.

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