Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez delivers his speech during a session on coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at Parliament in Madrid, Spain, April 9, 2020. (Photo: Agencies）
MADRID, April 9 (Xinhua) -- Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Thursday that the country is close to the beginning of a decline in its novel coronavirus epidemic.
The COVID-19 date is encouraging and "the fire has started to come under control," the prime minister told parliament before a vote on the extension of a state of emergency by another two weeks until April 26.
On Wednesday, Spain's Health Minister Salvador Illa said the country has "reached the peak of contagion," although it recorded a rise of new COVID-19 cases and deaths for a second day after four straight days of decline.
The total number of cases rose by 6,180 to 146,690, according to the daily data published by the Spanish Ministry for Health, Consumer Affairs and Social Services.