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Coronavirus in Spain full update (28 March)

Report updated in Spain at 20.15h on 28 March.

LATEST: Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has now also suspended all non-essential employment in Spain for the next two weeks, from 30 March until 9 April, and therefore until after the Easter weekend. All non-essential workers must now remain at home from Monday. Specific details of the new measures are expected to be announced once the decree has been signed in the Spanish government’s cabinet meeting on Monday morning.

It is understood that all non-essential workers (other than those working at pharmacies or food shops), to include construction workers and those who are still travelling to offices, will need to remain at home until after 9 April.

Official figures released by the Spanish Health Ministry at 12 noon on Saturday 28 March confirmed 72,248 known cases of Coronavirus (Covid-19) in Spain, 8,189 more than yesterday. 5,690 people have died from the pandemic (up by 832 from yesterday – the highest figure to date for Spain in a 24 hour period). Friday’s figure was a rise of 769 deaths compared to Thursday.

There are 49,698 people in hospital, of which 4,575 are in intensive care. 12,285 people have now made a full recovery, which is 2,928 more than yesterday.

Of the official figures announced, 21,520 confirmed cases are known to be in the Madrid region, and where 2,757 have died (from the total 5,690 across the country).

There are now 14,263 cases in Catalonia (1,070 deaths), 5,136 in the Basque Country (221 deaths), 4,277 in Andalusia (175), 4,512 in Castilla La Mancha (448) and 4,034 in Valencia (234).

Figures for those infected with Coronavirus in other regions are as follows: Aragón 1,592 (58 deaths), Asturias 1,004 (33 deaths), Balearic Islands 862 (26), Canary Islands 1,025 (36), Cantabria 937 (22), Castilla y León 4,791 (321), Ceuta 17 (0), Extremadura 1,394 (88), Galicia 2,772 (47), Melilla 45 (1), Murcia 802 (17), Navarra 1,829 (70) and La Rioja 1,436 (65).


As the global infection rate of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic continues to surge upwards, Italy recorded almost 1,000 deaths from the virus on Friday. It is the worst one-day toll anywhere in the world since the pandemic started. Total deaths in Italy now stand at 9,134 – and officials there have also warned that the peak of the crisis is still days away.

More than 300,000 people are now known to have been infected with Coronavirus in Europe alone – and economists claim that the disease has already cast the world into a recession.

The USA has now registered more than 104,000 Coronavirus cases. On Friday President Donald Trump invoked wartime powers to force the car manufacturing group General Motors to make medical equipment, as the USA’s healthcare system struggled to cope.

‘Today’s action will help ensure the quick production of ventilators that will save American lives,’ said Trump.

At 9.45am on Saturday morning, there were over 602,000 confirmed cases of Coronavirus worldwide, according to Worldometers, with 27,456 deaths. Over 133,000 people have made a full recovery from the virus.

In the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Health Secretary Matt Hancock both announced on Friday Friday that they had tested positive for Coronavirus.

Up to Saturday morning, 759 people in the UK have died after testing positive for Coronavirus and the number of confirmed cases has risen to 14,543. The UK toll is the seventh worst in the world, after Italy, Spain, China, Iran, France and the United States, also according to Worldometers.

After two months of almost total isolation, China‘s city of Wuhan where the virus first emerged partially reopened. Since January, residents had been banned from leaving the city.


Spanish Health Minister Salvador Illa announced on Friday that the government is to replace around 659,000 Coronavirus rapid test kits that were purchased from China yet do not work properly.

‘Some 659,000 rapid tests will be replaced for others matching the quality standards,’ said Illa after a cabinet meeting.

Firemen helping at IFEMA
Firefighters in Madrid helping with the delivery and distribution of medical supplies arriving at the IFEMA exhibition centre hospital on 25 March 2020. (Photo courtesy of 112 Comunidad de Madrid emergency services / @112cmadrid / Twitter)

Illa also sent ‘a message of calm’ to the public, saying that the government has already ordered 5m test kits in other operations with Chinese suppliers.

According to Illa, the 659,000 faulty test kits had been ordered from a regular supplier, who bought them from the Chinese company Bioeasy, a firm that according to the Chinese Embassy in Spain did not have license to operate and nor has been included in the list of recommended medical suppliers by the Chinese government.

Spain reportedly received 1.2m masks on Friday, which will be distributed by regions.

The distribution of healthcare material has specifically been a matter of disagreement between the Spanish government, which goes for a centralised purchase, and the Catalan government, advocating for decentralised purchasing.

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.

Numbers to call
The numbers to call for each region of Spain.

Click here for further information (in Spanish) regarding Coronavirus from the Spanish Health Ministry.

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 (27 March)

ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (26 March)

ALSO READ: Animal rights NGO starts petition against possible state aid for cancelled bullfights

ALSO READ: Spain publishes list of hotels that will remain open

ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (25 March)

ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (24 March)

ALSO READ: Video of boy training as goalkeeper in isolation goes viral

ALSO READ: The new restrictions at Spain’s airports, ports and land borders

ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (23 March)

ALSO READ: Madrid starts receiving patients at IFEMA exhibition centre ‘hospital’

ALSO READ: Confirmed: lockdown extended until at least 11 April

ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (22 March)

ALSO READ: Walking a goat or a Vietnamese pig is not allowed

ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain – full advice for British travellers seeking to return to the UK

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: Despite lockdown, Spaniards applaud health workers from balconies every evening

Editor’s note: 

At Spain in English we’re always keen to also publish positive stories and features about life in Spain – not just the current news. With all cultural and sporting events currently on hold, as well as travel and gastronomic excursions, we welcome on-going contributions from all of you who’d like to send us articles for publication. Although we are unable to currently pay for contributions, we will certainly credit you and share the articles across our social media network (if of interest) – and/or also link to your own blogs or other sites. We currently welcome upbeat, positive and fun articles – perhaps how you’re coping with the ‘lockdown’ in your own area of Spain – or how your community is responding, or recommendations of help to others. We have a dedicated ‘Opinion, Blogs & Spanish Experiences‘ section where your articles will appear. We will edit for clarity and length only – and we reserve the right to not publish. Articles should be sent via email to editorial@spainenglish.com (preferably with a photo and credit details), and should be around 500 words (800 to 1,000 max). We will try to respond to everyone, but please be patient with us. We’re a very small team but with big ambitions! Please stay safe. Thank you for reading and following us.

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1 comment

Carl osborne 28th March 2020 at 12:35 pm

Thank you for these updates they are so beneficial to us all


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