MADRID, April 13 (Xinhua) -- Spain will reopen some businesses to save its struggling economy on Monday while most of the country's lockdown restrictions remain in place, leading to concerns of a resurgence in coronavirus infections.
Commuters wearing face masks arrive at the Atocha Station in Madrid on April 13, 2020. (Photo: AFP)
The ease of restrictions has been applied to sectors that are unable to work remotely, such as construction and manufacturing. Police will hand out face masks at metro and train stations, while reminding those returning to work of social distancing rules.
However, the move has sparked concerns about a possible resurgence of the virus. Quim Torra, leader of the Catalan region, insisted that a complete lockdown should not be lifted yet, saying lifting confinement measures "will lead to an increase of transmissions and a collapse of Catalonia's health system."
Spain's daily death toll has risen to 16,972 as of Saturday night, up 619 from the previous day, registering the first hike in three days, according to data released by the health ministry on Sunday.
The country reported 4,167 new cases on Saturday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 166,019. The overnight tally declined remarkably from its peak in early April.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez stressed Sunday that despite the daily continued decrease in new confirmed cases, the country still has a long way to go before declaring victory over COVID-19.
"We are not in a phase of de-escalation; the state of alarm continues and the lockdown continues. All that we have ended is the hibernation of non-essential activities," Sanchez said during a news conference.