Report updated in Spain at 18.25h on 27 March
Official figures released by the Spanish Health Ministry at 12 noon on Friday 27 March confirm 64,059 known cases of Coronavirus (Covid-19) in Spain, 7,871 more than yesterday (a 14% increase compared to Thursday’s 18% increase). 4,858 people have died from the pandemic (up by 769 from yesterday – the highest figure in 24 hours for Spain to date). Thursday’s figure was a rise of 655 deaths compared to Wednesday.
There are 4,165 people in intensive care. 9,357 people have now made a full recovery.
Of the official figures announced, 19,243 confirmed cases are known to be in the Madrid region, and where 2,412 have died (from the total 4,858 across the country). There are now 12,940 cases in Catalonia (880 deaths), 4,601 in the Basque Country (207 deaths), 3,793 in Andalusia (144), 3,934 in Castilla La Mancha (367) and 3,532 in Valencia (198).
Figures for those infected with Coronavirus in other regions are as follows: Aragón 1,338 (58 deaths), Asturias 900 (29 deaths), Balearic Islands 755 (22), Canary Islands 878 (27), Cantabria 810 (21), Castilla y León 4,132 (252), Ceuta 17 (0), Extremadura 1,231 (69), Galicia 2,322 (43), Melilla 42 (1), Murcia 714 (15), Navarra 1,641 (58) and La Rioja 1,236 (55).
As the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic continues to spread around the world, the United States now has more confirmed cases than any other country, as well as a record number of people recently made unemployed.
More than 530,000 people across the world have now contracted Coronavirus, and health authorities in even the most developed nations have been issuing dire warnings that they could soon be overwhelmed.
China is barring entry to foreigners as it is now worried over a surge in imported cases, having appeared to have controlled its domestic outbreak that initiated in Wuhan in December 2019.
G20 leaders from the world’s 20 major economies held crisis talks by video-conference on Thursday, hosted by Saudi Arabia, and in which Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez participated. They pledged a ‘united front’ to fight the Coronavirus pandemic – along with a huge financial rescue package.
‘The virus respects no borders,’ the leaders said in a statement. ‘We are injecting over $5 trillion into the global economy, as part of targeted fiscal policy, economic measures, and guarantee schemes to counteract the social, economic and financial impacts of the pandemic.’
They also pledged ‘robust’ support for developing nations, where experts fear the coronavirus could wreak havoc. Click here for the full G20 video-conference statement in English.
ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (26 March)
On Friday morning, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, 55, tweeted a short video of himself, stating that he had tested positive for Coronavirus. He stated that he has ‘mild symptoms’ and is now self-isolating. ‘I will continue to lead the government’s response via video-conference as we fight this virus.’
Johnson was tested for the virus on the personal advice of the UK’s Chief Medical Officer, Chris Whitty.
On Thursday evening, Johnson and his his Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, applauded the UK’s health workers outside 10 Downing Street, but stood two metres apart. If Johnson is unable to work, it is understood that he will delegate to his Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.
Hours after the Johnson’s announcement, the UK’s Health Minister Matt Hancock posted on Twitter that he too had tested positive for Coronavirus.
Over the last 24 hours I have developed mild symptoms and tested positive for coronavirus.
I am now self-isolating, but I will continue to lead the government’s response via video-conference as we fight this virus.
— Boris Johnson #StayHomeSaveLives (@BorisJohnson) March 27, 2020
Up to Friday, 578 people in the UK have died after testing positive for Coronavirus and the number of confirmed cases has risen to 11,658. The UK toll is the seventh worst in the world, after Italy, Spain, China, Iran, France and the United States, according to worldometers.
As reported on Wednesday, Prince Charles, 71, also tested positive for Coronavirus and is now self-isolating in Scotland with mild symptoms. His wife Camilla tested negative.
CORONAVIRUS in SPAIN NEWS
Spain has the world’s second-highest death toll from Coronavirus (Covid-19) after Italy. The 769 people who have died from the virus in Spain in the past 24 hours is the highest one-day figure for fatalities in the country.
Italy has so far suffered 8,165 deaths as a result of the epidemic with 80,539 people infected.
On Friday morning in Spain it was announced that a 57-year-old officer of the Catalan police force (the Mossos d’Esquadra) has died from Coronavirus – the first police officer in Catalonia to have died from it.
Across Spain, 229 Guardia Civil officers have tested positive for Coronavirus, and 199 Spanish National Police officers. To date, three Guardia Civil officers have died from the virus.
The Spanish government is coming under criticism from some of Spain’s regional authorities for its decision to centralise all purchases of medical supplies and then distribute them to the autonomous communities – along with the news yesterday that Spain had purchased rapid test kits from an unlicensed Chinese company, Shenzhen Bioeasy Biotechnology, that don’t work.
The Catalan government has said that the current system ‘does not work’.
‘Centralised purchasing has been a failure. If from the beginning each territory had been allowed to make their own orders of this material, by now we’d have won valuable time that we don’t have,’ said Catalan government spokeswoman, Meritxell Budó.
Half a million surgical masks and 20,000 medical gowns have arrived in Catalonia, with some 50,000 rapid Covid-19 tests due to arrive on Friday, said the Catalan health minister, Alba Vergés, on Thursday.
All of these latest medical supplies have since been purchased directly by the Catalan authorities, and Vergés said the initial batch of rapid tests would be followed by two more batches of 100,000 tests in the following days.
JOBS AND ECONOMIC IMPACT
The Coronavirus pandemic is not only taking its toll on public health but also on jobs and the economy, with thousands of companies submitting plans to temporarily lay off employees under a scheme known as a Temporary Employment Regulation File (ERTE).
On Wednesday we 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.
Those temporarily out of work on the ERTE scheme 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.
In Catalonia alone, 53% of companies recently surveyed by the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce have registered temporary redundancy plans, with 5% of firms choosing not to renew the contracts of temporary staff and 8% permanently reducing their workforce.
According to the results of a survey carried out by the Chamber and presented on Thursday, a third of companies have stopped doing business, with another 18% reducing their business activity, while 14% are experiencing cash flow problems.
FOOTBALL CLUBS ANNOUNCING TEMPORARY WAGE REDUCTIONS
Football clubs in Spain are also preparing Temporary Employment Regulation Files (ERTE) for players and coaching staff, with FC Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Espanyol all announcing it in the past few days.
Barça initially began a negotiation phase with their players in order to come to an agreement over wage reductions with no competitions currently being played, but the club’s proposal was initially rejected.
Clubs have also been offering their facilities to local authorities to help fight the spread of Coronavirus. FC Barcelona have stated that they’ve made their ‘club facilities, both sporting and annexes’ available to the government, as well as the Barça Innovation Hub, to assist research centres such as Hospital Clínic, Hospital Trias i Pujol and the Barcelona Supercomputing Center, among others.
Barça say their Innovation Hub will ‘offer their collaboration and coordination in research actions related to the impact of Coronavirus on sport.’
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 (26 March)
ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (25 March)
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)
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