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Grim tally for Spain as coronavirus deaths pass 30,000 mark and positive cases go through 600,000 barrier 

Spain has passed the 30,000-mark for coronavirus deaths for the first time since the pandemic began and positive cases have broken the 600,000 barrier.

The grim figures were confirmed this evening
by the Ministry of Health. The number of fatalities is now 30,004 and 603,167
people have contracted the virus.

Health chiefs admit the country is now in the
second wave, with Madrid continuing to be badly hit, accumulating a third of
the 3,022 new infections in the last 24 hours, followed by Navarre and the
Basque Country.

With the exception of Catalonia, which has not
updated its figures due to “technical problems”, Madrid has recorded
1,207 new positives in the last 24 hours, while Navarra has 302 new cases and
the Basque Country 270.

Madrid is also in first place in deaths, as it
has 115 of the 303 deaths recorded in the last seven days, with Andalusia in
second place, with 48, and Castilla y León in third, with 31.

Galicia has recorded 28 new deaths; Canary
Islands, 12; the Valencian Community, 11; Balearic Islands, 10; Castilla-La
Mancha and Navarra, eight in each case; Catalonia,  5;  and
Extremadura,  4.

Leading doctors have expressed fears that the
health services might not be able to cope again, with the warnings being echoed
by second vice-president of the Spanish Society of Emergency Medicine, Pascual
Piñera.

Trials of a new vaccine developed by the
American pharmaceutical company Janssen have started in two Madrid hospitals
and the first results are expected in four months. It is the first clinical
trial carried out in Spain and involves 550 volunteers.

Various regions of Spain are now taking
special measures again, including in the Balearics where four parts of Palma,
the capital of Mallorca, have been subject to restrictions on mobility and
social gatherings. This is now to be extended to parts of Ibiza town and the
holiday resort of San Antonio from this Friday.

The measures won’t include a full lockdown but
Balearic president, Francina Armengol says they are vital to avoid new
coronavirus outbreaks.

“We are talking about difficult decisions
that no one likes and that require more sacrifice on the part of citizens,
businesses and workers but we also know that they work and will make us stop
the virus sooner and return to normal,” she announced today.

Mobility will also be restricted in the
municipalities of Pesquera de Duero (Valladolid) and Sotillo de la Ribera
(Burgos), as around ten per cent of the population of each of the
municipalities is affected by the coronavirus and there is a suspicion of that
there is community transmission.

In Aragon, the authorities have decided to
extend the confinement of the municipality of Ejea de los Caballeros (Zaragoza)
for another week, because the incidence has increased to 1,090 cases of covid
per 100,000 inhabitants.