In view of falling coronavirus infection numbers in Spain, hundreds of thousands of people once again thanked medical staff and other professional groups with a final nationwide session of applause on Sunday evening.
In some parts of Madrid, people clapped and played music for 25 minutes, almost five times as long as on previous occasions.
There were also pot-banging protests in Madrid, where resentment was directed against the government’s strict measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic.
“For a dignified end and so that the applause does not gradually end, we want to offer from our balconies this Sunday at 8 pm the best and longest honours to those who tirelessly protect us and who have slowed down the pandemic,” said a call previously spread on the Internet.
Since March 14, there had been clapping and music from people’s balconies and windows every evening.
The more than 30-year-old hit “Resistire” (I will resist) became the anthem in Spain in the fight against the pandemic.
Around 50 artists from the country, hit particularly hard by the virus, made a new version of the song by Duo Dinamico, which was clicked on millions of times on YouTube.
With more than 27,500 deaths and over 230,000 cases of infection, Spain is one of the countries most severely affected by the pandemic.
The number of deaths in Spain due to the novel coronavirus was only 87 on Sunday, the lowest level in two months, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said in a video conference with regional leaders, according to media reports.
There have been more than 100 deaths each day due to the virus since March 17, with this figure spiking to more than 900 per day in early April.
The latest number could be somewhat higher, however, as over the weekend not all deaths are registered immediately, reports said.
These rates have been steadily improving, although Sanchez said that despite progress the danger remains.
Sanchez is now set to ask parliament to extend the state of emergency by a month until the end of June. The current state of emergency, increasingly a subject of criticism, runs until May 23.
Medical staff, doctors and nurses as well as paramedics have paid a high price for their efforts to deal with the pandemic: 35 of them have died from Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus, and around 50,000 became infected with the virus. (dpa)