Spain Sees Deadliest Day Since Start Coronavirus Outbreak, 426 Dead in 24 Hours

A paramedic disinfects the door handle of an ambulance outside La Paz hospital in Madrid on March 23, 2020 amid a national lockdown to fight the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. - The coronavirus death toll in Spain surged to 2,182 after 462 people died within 24 hours, the health …

Spain entered its second week under national lockdown by recording its deadliest day since the Chinese coronavirus reached its shores, with 426 people dying in just 24 hours, bringing the total number of deaths in the country to 2,182.

In a press briefing on Monday, Spanish Health Minister Fernando Simón reported the grim figures and confirmed that in total 33,089 people have become infected with the virus, an increase of 4,717 over the day before.

The figures suggest that Spain is following a similar trajectory to Italy, the hardest-hit country in Europe, which one week ago had reported 2,158 deaths from the virus and now has over 5,000.

The nations health minister said that there is some room for optimism, claiming that the number of confirmed cases in Spain appears to be levelling off after the government imposed a nationwide lockdown.

“The increase that is reported every day is progressively softened. But we are still not sure that we have reached the peak of the epidemic,” Simón said according to El Pais.

The government also announced that it has finally started sending out rapid test kits to the regions facing the most amount of cases, after weeks of delays.

The Chinese virus has not only created a health crisis in Spain but is projected to severely damage the country’s economy.

The Spanish Confederation of Small and Medium Enterprises (Cepyme) issued a report that said that as a result of the strict lockdown measures implemented by the government to contain the virus, some 300,000 jobs will be lost this year, representing 1.6 per cent of the total employment in Span.

The report also forecasts a 1.7 per cent drop in GDP if the pandemic measures continue into next month.

In light of the harsh economic realities of the lockdown, the government is not currently considering ramping up measures to further contain the coronavirus.

“Our country is not China. Here all the communities are affected and we have to continue maintaining a minimum economic activity that guarantees the subsistence of the entire population at decent levels,” Health Minister Fernando Simón said.

On Sunday, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez called on the European Union to adopt a modern-day “Marshal Plan” in the “war against the coronavirus”, urging Brussels to launch a massive spending plan in the whole of the bloc to mitigate economic fallout from the pandemic. Sánchez also pledged his support for so-called “coronabonds” to help raise money to fight the virus.

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