Ambulance workers push a wheelchair with a patient at a nursing home in Leganes Madrid. Reuters
When staff take a break to applaud at a sprawling field hospital set up at Madrid's conference centre to treat people with coronavirus, it means a patient has been discharged.
Located just a short drive from Madrid's airport, the Ifema conference centre normally hosts car shows, art fairs and concerts.
But in just two weeks soldiers converted it into Spain's largest field hospital to treat victims of the pandemic, which has claimed nearly 11,000 lives in the country, nearly 5,000 of them in the Madrid region.
The facility opened on March 21 and it currently houses just over 1,000 patients, who are spread out in neat rows of white beds separated two metres (six feet) apart by removable partitions.
A nurse wearing a face mask comes to an abrupt stop at a yellow line on the floor marking the start of the area of the hospital deemed "dirty" or contaminated because it's where the infected patients are treated.
Staff must wear full protective gear to enter this area.
In one unit with 12 beds separated by removable partitions, one patient is asleep, another plays with his mobile phone while a third peels an orange.
Three patients wearing face masks wait while sitting on chairs. They have been declared cured. Applause rings out when they get up to leave.
"It's a good day for us because we are discharging more and more patients," the general coordinator of the field hospital, Fernando Prados, told AFP.
Over 2,000 patients have passed through the facility since it opened, and about 900 were discharged after they were cured, he added. Eight patients have died.
Officials originally planned to set up 5,500 beds at the conference centre but they have stopped "for the moment" at 1,500 because hospitals in Madrid are slowly seeing a drop in the number of people seeking care, he added.
The authorities closed the borders to everybody but Spaniards, cross-border workers and truck drivers from mid-March when the country went into lockdown to curb the coronavirus contagion.
The jobless rate was up from 13.8 per cent in the previous quarter, its lowest level since the third quarter of 2008 but still the highest rate in the eurozone after Greece.
Barcelona has become one of the world's top tourist destinations thanks to its Mediterranean climate, mesmerising architecture and liberal way of life.
In a statement on Saturday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation expressed concern over escalating violence in Afghanistan during the past weeks.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark Esper will meet their Indian counterparts for strategic and security talks on Tuesday, after which Pompeo will travel on to Sri Lanka, the Maldives and Indonesia.
The number of deaths over 24 hours has remained broadly stable since the beginning of autumn, with between 700 and 800. On Saturday the US recorded 906 deaths, the Johns Hopkins tracker showed.
The World Health Organization has warned of an "exponential" rise in infections threatening health systems' ability to cope with a second wave of the pandemic, testing many nations that appeared to have the virus under control earlier this year.