Spain on March 29 joined Italy and France in demanding Europe to do more to help as it reported another record single-day increase in coronavirus deaths and stricken its lockdown. Spain has till now reported 80,110 cases of infection and 6,803 deaths from COVID-19. The Spanish authorities on March 29 confirmed that 838 people had died from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.
Spain, Italy and France along with six others have asked the EU to issue “coronabonds” – a collective debt instrument – to help finance countries’ response to the pandemic. However, the demand was opposed by the Netherlands, Austria and Germany. Fernando Simón, head of Spain’s centre for health emergencies, said the situation was stabilizing, but the main problem was making sure intensive care unties do not get overloaded.
Italy, on March 29 reported 756 new deaths, taking its total to 10,779. The rate slowed for a second day, while new confirmed cases rose by 5.6 per cent to 3,815. According to reports, Spain and Italy account for more than half of the world’s death toll from Covid-19 and are each still seeing hundreds of deaths a day.
This comes as France, which has reported 2,606 deaths in hospitals and 40,174 cases excluding fatalities in its 7,000 retirement homes, evacuated 36 more patients from the hard-hit east to western areas on March 29, hoping to free up intensive care units. According to the Johns Hopkins University tracker, the virus has now infected more than 680,000 people and killed more than 32,000 around the world.
This comes as Spain is set to halt all "non-essential" economic activity for two weeks to try to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced on March 28. "All workers in non-essential economic activities must stay at home for two weeks," said Sanchez. This measure in Spain, which has the second-highest death toll from the virus, follows a similar move in Italy, which has the highest toll.
(Image Credit: PTI)