Spain struggles to contain virus with deadliest day of outbreak

Tribune Content Agency

Spain reported its deadliest day since the coronavirus crisis started, leaving hospitals overflowing with sick patients and the government struggling to bring the spread of the disease under control.

The total number of deaths rose by 849 to 8,189 in the past 24 hours, according to Health Ministry data. The number of new cases increased by 9,222 on Tuesday — the most in a single day — to bring the total confirmed infections in the country to 94,417.

The Spanish government is betting that severe restrictions on public life at least through the Easter weekend will help curtail the spread of the disease, which has killed more people in Spain than in China where the pandemic started.

A two-week, nationwide lockdown began March 14, when the government announced a state of emergency, and was subsequently extended to April 11.

The health crisis is having a severe impact on the economy. Many firms have announced temporary redundancies, putting workers on government unemployment benefit until a company is able to re-hire them.

Other corporations such as Inditex SA, the world’s largest retailer, have said they’ll wait until April 11 before potentially cutting staff. All of Inditex’s stores in Spain are closed.

Spain prides itself on having one of the world’s best health services, but it has been stretched to breaking point by the crisis. Problems range from a shortage of hospital and intensive-care beds to a lack of coronavirus testing kits and basic medical equipment.


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