SPAIN — Millions of Spaniards are to be given special face masks in the next few days before they travel on public transport, the government announced today, the same day the country’s death toll surpassed the 16,000-mark UK’s MailOnline reports.
Despite the grim tally, the 510 fatalities are the lowest increase in deaths seen in the coronavirus-ravaged country in 19 days.
In another step to prevent its resurgence, masks will be distributed at train and metro stations, as well as at bus terminals, by an army of volunteers.
Health officials say it will not be compulsory to wear them but their advice to do so has changed following expert advice.
The masks are slightly different to the ones being used in hospitals and there are versions for adults and for children. It is a new kind of hygienic or barrier mask.
Health Minister Salvador Illa said it would mean those who are returning to work on Monday can do so safely, and guarantee that the curve of the epidemic continues to fall.
Pandemic has peaked
Although health chiefs say the pandemic has peaked, they have urged the population to strictly follow the national lockdown which was put in place on 14 March in order to slow the spread of the virus.
Spain’s lockdown is continuing until at least 26 April, with another extension expected until 10 May, but a two-week temporary ban on ‘non-essential workers’ has now been lifted.
They will be returning to work on Monday which is not a public holiday in Spain unlike the UK as Easter is celebrated on Good Friday and Easter Saturday. (ia/MailOnline source)