SPAIN has reported 950 new deaths from coronavirus (COVID-19) as the total number surged past 10,000 in yet another terrifying update from the crisis-hit country.
The health ministry in Spain confirmed the huge number of deaths from coronavirus over the past 24 hours has risen to 10,003 from 9,053 on Wednesday. There have also been 8,102 new cases of COVID-19, sending the total number of infections soaring to 110,238 – up from 102,136. More than 6,000 people are currently in intensive care after being infected with the deadly virus.
Spain has registered the second most deaths from coronavirus, only behind Italy, which has recorded more than 13,000 fatalities.
Last week, the country overtook China – where coronavirus originated – in terms of the number of deaths from the pandemic.
Spain has also recorded the second most COVID-19 infections, behind the USA which has more than 215,000.
There have also been more than 940,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus and nearly 50,000 deaths throughout the world, with the deadly disease spreading to some 200 countries.
On Wednesday, the number of coronavirus cases in Spain soared beyond 100,000 while the number of deaths reached a new record as the country struggles to contain the accelerating pandemic.
The unemployment rate in Spain for March surged 9.3 percent from February – the highest monthly increase ever recorded.
There are now 3.5 million people without jobs in the country – the highest number since April 2017.
Nearly 900,000 jobs have been lost in Spain since lockdown measures were enforced in mid-March.
Government data shows 898,822 Spaniards have now lost their jobs since the start of the lockdown, including some 500,000 temporary workers.
Transport Minister Jose Luis Abalos told RNE radio: “It is always a big problem and it is the double challenge we have: to fight the epidemic and to avoid the economic activity being swept away.
“We will have to work on relaunching the economy once we can get control of the epidemic.”
Spain has entered its third week of a nationwide lockdown, following several strict measures enforced by Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.
At the weekend, the Government announced all non-essential workers should stay at home for two weeks.
Economy Minister Nadia Calvino said after a Cabinet meeting to approve the measures: “The measures are to reduce the movement of people, not economic activity”
But Antonio Garamendi, president of Spain’s business association, said the lockdown could lead to a full-blown social crisis and criticised the delay in clarifying which sectors were “essential”.
He said in a television interview: “If you stop the country, we’ll have a huge social problem within five months.”
Spain’s health emergency chief Fernando Simon, who has been in regular contact with Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez throughout the outbreak, tested positive for coronavirus on Monday.
He said Spain was unlikely to need further restrictive measures, besides those already announced, while data was being analysed.
Earlier this week, the Government approved a £620million aid package, including a measure to suspend evictions of vulnerable households for six months after the state of emergency is lifted.
This will cover the unemployed, workers who have been temporarily laid off or lost hours, self-employed people on low earnings, people who have lost short-term contracts and domestic workers who have had to stay at home.
The latest developments in Spain come after World Health Organisation director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned deaths from coronavirus will pass 50,000 across the world within “the next few days”.
He said: “As we enter the fourth month since the start of the pandemic, I’m deeply concerned about the rapid escalation and global spread of infection.
“Over the past five weeks we have witnessed a near exponential growth in the number of new cases reaching almost every country, territory, and area.
“The number of cases has more than doubled in the past week. In the next few days, we will reach one million confirmed cases and 50,000 deaths.”