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Spain’s disease death toll up by 838

By Reuters | March 30th 2020 at 19:03:21 GMT +0300

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

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

Spain awoke to its third week under near-total lockdown yesterday, as the government met to approve a strengthening of measures and the coronavirus death toll rose by a record 838 cases overnight to 6,528.

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.

SEE ALSO: Take charge of your children; Magoha to parents

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 yesterday morning as police reinforced patrols, stopping buses and cars to check passengers with 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.

Meanwhile, Iran's death toll from the coronavirus has risen to 2,640 and the number of infected people has reached 38,309, a health ministry official tweeted yesterday, as the Middle East's worst-hit country grapples with the outbreak.

SEE ALSO: Mombasa beats Nairobi in new coronavirus cases


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