Spain to hand out millions of masks at subway stations

MADRID — Spanish authorities say they will distribute 10 million face masks at major train and subway stations to help reduce a coronavirus spike.

Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska made the announcement on Saturday, two days before factory and construction workers will be allowed to go back to work. That comes after a two-week ban on commuting for all workers not involved in health care or food production and distribution.

Grande-Marlaska says police and civil protection officers will distribute the masks at “major public transport nodes” from Monday to Wednesday for those workers.

Transport official MarÍa José Rallo says loudspeakers at stations will remind people to remain at least 1 meter apart, and personnel will monitor the flow of passengers to disperse groups.

Spain has confirmed 161,852 infections and 16,353 deaths. It reported its lowest daily death count in nearly three weeks with 510. A national high of 950 deaths was reported April 2.

There’s been a slight uptick with 4,830 new cases reported Saturday, compared to 4,576 the day before.

The decision to roll back some restrictions has raised doubts among some health experts. But Health Minister Salvador Illa says the changes are minimum and the lockdown measures will probably extend beyond April 26.




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