Spain lifts some coronavirus lockdown measures amid criticism

Construction and factory workers in Spain return to work on Monday as the government lifts some of the most strict coronavirus lockdown measures, but opposition parties criticize the move and caution against an “imprudent” relaxation of the rules.

Spain, one of the worst-hit nations by Covid-19, has allowed some factories to reopen as well as some construction work to restart, after the sectors were ordered to stop production two weeks ago.

The decision to loosen some of Spain’s lockdown restrictions has been challenged by political opponents, at a time when Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez wants a “great pact” to boost the economy.

As of Monday, more than 166,000 people in Spain had been infected with  coronavirus, with 17,209 deaths nationwide, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Spain has recorded the most cases of the virus in Europe and is second-only to the U.S. for the total number of infections.

Opposition parties have criticized the government’s decision to reopen factories and construction businesses, saying it is an “imprudence” and “temerity” to relax some of the lockdown measures.

The pandemic is taking its toll on the Spanish economy. Jobless claims rose by 302,265 last month, according to the Spanish labour ministry. This represented a 9.31 percent increase from February.

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