From 2nd May, elderly citizens of Spain could be allowed out for walks as lockdown restrictions are relaxed. This relaxation of the rules will only apply if the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to fall. The relaxing of the rules will mean that senior citizens will be permitted to go outdoors for walks and exercise.
While Spain is beginning to see a fall in cases and deaths from the pandemic, there have been small allowances and relaxation of the strict measures imposed to contain the virus. Children under the age of 14 have recently been allowed out for exercise. This comes with stringent rules of being no more than 1km away from their home and in the company of an adult.
Hopefully, by the weekend, elderly citizens will also enjoy more freedom. That said, the government are proceeding with extreme caution. The Health Minister, Salvador Illa, states that the virus is still very contagious and dangerous.
Spain’s Drop In Cases
The announcement of exercise for the elderly comes after Spain reports a significant drop in cases. With 288 deaths registered on April 26th, a significant drop from 378 on the April 25th. The number of Coronavirus deaths is now at its lowest since March 18th.
Some are wary of the figures, however. Many people are saying there has been severe underreporting from some of the 17 regions in Spain. This is mainly due to public holidays and weekends when there are lower levels of personnel.
However, the Director of the Health Ministry’s Coordination Centre For Health Alerts, Fernando Simon explains that today’s drop is important, and now the task should focus on easing the confinement measures.
This means that from May 2nd, families may be able to enjoy walks, and children and senior citizens will be able to go outside for exercise. Fernando Simon continues to express caution, explaining; “The relaxation of confinement measures will need to be carried out with great care. A step back would be very serious for the health system and the morale of the population.”
As well as a relaxing measure for the elderly, the Health Minister has also been creating a list of recommendations to help transition out of lockdown. For example, in order for the lockdown to be relaxed, hospitals would need to be able to double intensive care hospital beds immediately. It is also recommended that hospitals and health centres maintain two entrances with one specifically for Coronavirus patients. There are also calls for testing everyone who enters a hospital, to increase fast diagnosis.
With potential relaxation of the rules for the elderly from May 2nd, Spain will be watching the figures this week with care and hoping they continue to fall in the same manner as today.