The historic Red Fort in the old quarters of New Delhi in advance of the nationwide lockdown
26 March, 2020, 06:25
In total 3,434 people have died in Spain from COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, the health ministry said on Wednesday.
With 3,434 fatalities, Spain now has the second-highest number of deaths globally after Italy's 6,820, in an outbreak that has seen a Madrid skating rink turned into a makeshift morgue and dozens dead in overwhelmed nursing homes across the country.
Last Sunday, President Sanchez announced that the original 15-day lockdown period would be extended until April 11.
China - excluding Hong Kong and Macau - has to date declared 3,281 deaths and 81,218 cases. So many people have died that Madrid's municipal funeral home has stopped collecting bodies. The total number could be much higher as the government reported 130,000 sick leaves associated with the virus, encompassing workers who are either infected or in preventive isolation. "We are going to face major shortages in the days ahead".
Life started returning to normal on Wednesday after two months of lockdown in Hubei province, epicentre of China's coronavirus outbreak, with traffic controls lifted, construction resuming and people catching buses and trains across once-shut borders.
The Spanish health ministry said it has registered 738 new coronavirus deaths since Tuesday.
The confirmed cases in the country have risen on Wednesday to a total of 47,610, with 7,937 new infections, the Efe news agency reports.
The number of French deaths was up by 231 on Wednesday to more than 1,330, and metro and rail services in Paris were cut to a minimum.
Spain and Italy were joined by France and six more EU countries in urging Germany and the Netherlands to allow the issue of joint European bonds to cut borrowing costs and stabilise the euro zone economy.
The economic damage of the virus - and the lockdowns - could also be devastating, with fears of a worldwide recession worse than the financial meltdown more than a decade ago.