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The Financial Express

Spain confirms 838 new coronavirus deaths

Published: March 29, 2020 17:11:08 | Updated: March 30, 2020 12:02:01


People turn on flashlights from their homes in support for healthcare workers during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Ronda, southern Spain on Saturday. –Reuters Photo People turn on flashlights from their homes in support for healthcare workers during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Ronda, southern Spain on Saturday. –Reuters Photo

Spain's health ministry has announced 838 new coronavirus deaths, marking the country's highest daily jump in fatalities and bringing its total to 6,528, according to Al Jazeera and Reuters.

Second only to Italy in fatalities, Spain also saw infections rise to 78,797 from 72,248 the day before.

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, in a televised address to the nation on Saturday night, announced that all non-essential workers must stay at home for two weeks, the latest government measure in the fight against coronavirus.

He said workers would receive their usual salaries but would have to make up lost hours at a later date. The measure would last from March 30 to April 9.

Unions welcomed the measures and business groups CEOE and CEPYME said that while they would comply with the new rule, "it will generate an unprecedented huge impact on the Spanish economy, especially in sectors such as industry".

The slowdown "may lead to a deeper crisis in the economy that could become social", they warned in a statement.

In Madrid, birdsong drowned out traffic on deserted streets on Sunday morning as police reinforced patrols, stopping buses and cars to check passengers had reason to be out of their homes.

Schools, bars, restaurants and shops selling non-essential items have been shut since March 14 and most of the population is house-bound as Spain tries to curb the virus.

Elsewhere, US President Donald Trump backed away from imposing a quarantine in the New York area, instead directing that a "strong travel advisory" be issued for the region to limit the spread of the new coronavirus.

The US now accounts for the highest number of coronavirus infections of any nation, recording more than 122,000 confirmed cases on Saturday. The death toll in the country surged past 2,000, more than double the figure two days ago.

Worldwide, the number of cases has reached more than 660,000. Some 139,000 people have recovered, while more than 30,000 have died.

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