Report updated in Spain at 19.50h on 25 March
Official figures released by the Spanish Health Ministry at 12 noon on Wednesday 25 March confirmed 47,610 known cases of Coronavirus (Covid-19) in Spain, 7,937 more than yesterday. 3,434 people have died from the pandemic (up by 738 from yesterday). There are 3,166 people in intensive care. 5,367 people have now made a full recovery.
Of the official figures announced, 14,597 confirmed cases are known to be in the Madrid region, and where 1,825 have died (from the total 3,434 across the country). There are now 9,937 cases in Catalonia (516 deaths), 3,271 in the Basque Country (155 deaths), 3,010 in Andalusia (113), 2,780 in Castilla La Mancha (263) and 2,616 in Valencia (143).
Figures for those infected with Coronavirus in other regions are as follows: Aragón 907 (40 deaths), Asturias 779 (25 deaths), Balearic Islands 562 (13), Canary Islands 657 (43), Cantabria 510 (14), Castilla y León 2,940 (165), Ceuta 9 (0), Extremadura 742 (39), Galicia 1,653 (27), Melilla 38 (0), Murcia 477 (5), Navarra 1,197 (33) and La Rioja 928 (37).
Spain joined Italy on Wednesday in seeing its death toll from the Coronavirus pandemic surpass that of China.
Italy saw the number of daily fatalities come down from a world record 793 on Saturday to 651 on Sunday and 601 on Monday, but it rose again on Tuesday to 743 deaths in 24 hours. Figures just released on Wednesday evening show a further 683 deaths since yesterday. Italy now has a total number of 74,386 confirmed cases of Coronavirus (up 5,210 on yesterday). There have now been a total of 7,503 deaths in Italy.
Scientists believe that countries such as Spain and France are following in Italy’s footsteps with a lag of a few weeks.
Tens of millions of global jobs are now at risk from the pandemic, with entire industries being shut down to keep the virus from possibly spreading among employees, customers and clients. European governments are already promising to spend billions on wage subsidies to try and save jobs and cushion the economic impact.
The G20 major economies will be holding an emergency video-conference summit on Thursday to discuss a global response to the crisis, as will the 27 leaders of the European Union, the outbreak’s new epicentre.
‘Covid-19 is threatening the whole of humanity – and the whole of humanity must fight back,’ the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said on Wednesday.
A third of the world’s population is now under instructions to stay at home to help combat the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, after India ordered its 1.3bn people – the world’s second-biggest population – to stay at home for three weeks from today, Wednesday.
In the USA politicians have agreed to spend $2 trillion to counter the economic damage of the pandemic. Financial markets rose as the US Senate and White House pushed through a stimulus package worth roughly 10% of the entire US economy.
In China, however, where Coronavirus first emerged in December 2019, the lockdown rules were relaxed for the 50m people in the Hubei province on Wednesday, after the country reported no new domestic cases. Wuhan, the capital of the province, will allow residents to leave their homes from 8 April.
In the UK, where Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ordered people to stay at home except to buy essentials and take daily exercise, many questions remain about how the new rules can be enforced. The UK reported more than 8,000 cases of Coronavirus and 422 deaths as of Tuesday.
On Wednesday, the UK Foreign Office said its deputy head of mission at the British Embassy in Budapest, Steven Dick, 37, had died after contracting the virus.
On Wednesday it was also announced that Prince Charles, 71, and heir to the throne in the United Kingdom, has tested positive for Coronavirus. His Clarence House office has reported that his symptoms are ‘mild’ and that he is ‘in otherwise good health’. His wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, 72, tested negative for the virus.
‘The Prince of Wales has tested positive for Coronavirus,’ Clarence House said in a statement. ‘He has been displaying mild symptoms but otherwise remains in good health and has been working from home throughout the last few days as usual. The Duchess of Cornwall has also been tested but does not have the virus.’
‘In accordance with government and medical advice, the prince and duchess are now self-isolating at home in Scotland,’ the statement said. The Queen, 93, and her husband Prince Philip, 98, have remained at Windsor Castle, near London, since 19 March.
Coronavirus cases are also spreading in the Middle East, where Iran‘s death toll topped 2,000 on Wednesday, and in Africa, where Mali joined all seven of its neighbours in declaring its first cases.
CORONAVIRUS in SPAIN NEWS
Spain joined Italy on Wednesday in seeing its death toll from Coronavirus surpass that of China.
Many businesses in Spain have started to opt for the existing provision for temporary layoffs, known as ‘Temporary Employment Regulation Files’ (ERTE) to avoid permanent job losses. Under the scheme, up to 70% of salaries will be paid.
Those temporarily out of work have the right to unemployment benefits, and any time on benefits won’t count against a person’s entitlement to claim benefits in the future.
On Wednesday it was reported that the Meliá Hotels group would be presenting an ERTE for its 8,382 employees. The El Corte Inglés department store chain also announced an ERTE for its 25,900 employees, guaranteeing 100% of their salaries.
ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (24 March)
In addition to many other measures already announced, the Spanish government has ordered utility companies to maintain services to all ‘vulnerable’ households, even if they are unable to pay their bills.
During a press conference on Wednesday, Spain’s Health Minister Salvador Illa stated that the estimated period of the ‘important contagion’ in Spain, and in particular in Madrid, was believed to have been during the last week of February. He avoided the on-going criticism that mass rallies were permitted in the main cities of Spain for International Women’s Day on Sunday 8 March.
Over 1,000 people have been arrested in Spain for not complying with the restrictions of the lockdown. 123,216 people have now been fined for not complying with the restrictions.
The Spanish National Police have arrested 484 people and fined 42,278 others. Spain’s Guardia Civil have arrested 151 people and fined 34,332. Other police forces around the regions of Spain – including the Mossos d’Esquadra in Catalonia – have carried out 245 arrests (35 just in the past 24 house) and issued fines to 29,887 people.
Charles Michel, President of the European Council posted a tweet on Wednesday morning, linking to a letter of sympathy towards the people Spain, stating, ‘I believe in Spain and its promising future. And I believe in the future of Europe. If we stick together and take care of each other, we will come out stronger and more united than ever.’
‘On a personal level, it pains me to see Spain – a country I admire for so many reasons – suffer under the terrible weight of this relentless virus,’ Michel writes in his letter.
I believe in Spain and its promising future. And I believe in the future of Europe.
If we stick together and take care of each other, we will come out stronger and more united than ever. #EsteVirusLoParamosUnidos
— Charles Michel (@eucopresident) March 25, 2020
‘The images on television and in the newspapers show a people valiantly coping with the unknown,’ writes Michel. ‘Doctors, nurses and health professionals in Spain are teaching us all a lesson of sacrifice, solidarity and generosity.’
‘The Spanish people are dealing with the lock-down, with creativity and ingenuity as we can see all over social media. Speaking to my Spanish friends, I hear stories of a nation full of pride, of resourceful people banding together with urgency. The Spanish attitude during this crisis is a model for others on how to keep spirits high in the face of adversity. This is the Spain I know – resilient, determined, united.’
‘Europe stands by your side in full solidarity,’ he writes, ‘and we will spare no effort to help you – and all EU countries. I wish to commend prime minister Pedro Sánchez and the Spanish government’s efforts to manage this unmatched crisis. Spain has acted promptly and with fortitude, pioneering measures to counter the spread of the virus.’
Spain’s armed forces are asking NATO for humanitarian assistance to fight Coronavirus. Despite the lockdown imposed on 14 March, deaths and infections continue to rise across Spain, with the Spanish Military Emergencies Unit (UME) already called in to join efforts to curb the spread.
In a statement, NATO said Spain’s military had asked for ‘international assistance’, seeking medical supplies, and specifying 450,000 respirators, 500,000 rapid testing kits, 500 ventilators and 1.5 million surgical masks.
The Catalan president, Quim Torra, has again urged the Spanish government to agree to a total lockdown in the region, warning that otherwise the current exceptional measures to fight the Coronavirus crisis might be in force until June.
‘The worst estimations foresee the peak of the Covid-19 crisis in late April,’ said Torra, ‘meaning we wouldn’t have normality until maybe June.’
Torra first appealed for a total lockdown for Catalonia on 13 March, when the total number of cases declared was 509. The latest figures are 9,937 cases in Catalonia, with 516 deaths.
‘We have to get ready for a situation that is now difficult to conceive, we need to take forceful decisions,’ he added, insisting on the lockdown. Torra also called on the public to be responsible and follow the instructions to stay home.
Below are the numbers to call for each region of Spain for information and assistance in the event of possible cases of Coronavirus – as issued by the Spanish health authorities.
Up-to-date WHO advice and facts (in English) about the Coronavirus epidemic can be found here: www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/technical-guidance.
Our previous reports on Coronavirus in Spain:
ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (24 March)
ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (23 March)
ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (22 March)
ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (21 March)
ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (20 March)
ALSO READ: ‘This virus we will stop together’ – video
ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (19 March)
ALSO READ: Spain to close its land borders
ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain update (15 March)
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