Sánchez’s announcement came on Saturday 4 April, after the country reported 809 deaths in one day, the lowest in a week. And with light looming at the end of the tunnel, Sánchez also asserted that Spain’s lockdown would be extended for a further two weeks, until 25 April, to ensure that the country’s healthcare system is able to fully recover from the ongoing strain.
Over in Italy, which has for some time now been the worst affected country in terms of coronavirus-related deaths, the first drop in the number of patients in intensive care has been recorded. The total number of cases so far in Italy sits at just under 128,950, with over 15,880 deaths.
Globally, there have been over 1,276,730 confirmed cases of the virus and around 69,530 reported deaths. The majority of those case numbers are now reported in the US, where over 336,850 cases of Covid-19 have now been confirmed. The US has reported some 9,620 deaths, with over 2,565 of those having been in New York – the state hardest hit by the coronavirus. On Sunday 5 April, Governor Andrew Cuomo reported 594 deaths, although he pointed out that nearly 75 per cent of the patients who required hospitalisation had now been discharged.
Many leading US experts have expressed that the short-term outlook is ‘really bad’, and US Surgeon General Jerome Adams told Fox News on Sunday that this would likely be ‘the hardest and the saddest week of most Americans’ lives’.
US President Donald Trump also weighed in, reasoning that while the US was likely to endure the peak of the pandemic in the days ahead, he also believed coronavirus cases were levelling off.
Dr Deborah Birx, a member of the president's coronavirus task force, said the situation in Italy and Spain, where infections and deaths have fallen in recent days, was ‘giving us hope on what our future could be’.
Dr Birx added: "We're hopeful over the next week that we'll see a stabilisation of cases in these metropolitan areas where the outbreak began several weeks ago.”
And over in the UK, the number of daily coronavirus-related deaths are doubling every few days, with the occasional dip in numbers, but UK health experts assert that the numbers of new confirmed cases and hospitalisations are slowing down – and eventually, the number of new deaths should follow suit.
Elsewhere, on 4 April China held a three-minute silence to honour the many victims of the coronavirus. The ceremony coincided with China’s Qingming Festival, or ‘Tomb-Sweeping Day’, when people traditional visit the graves of their ancestors to make offerings to the deceased. Instead, and in line with social distancing rules, people across the country stopped their activities to honour those that have died and to pay tribute to those deemed coronavirus ‘martyrs’.
Provinces across China have started to lift their lockdowns. The Wuhan lockdown is due to fully lift on 8 April.