Coronavirus cases in Spain rocket 362 in a day as fears grow country is the new Italy
The number of cases now stands at 1,036, while the Spanish government has announced the launch of an emergency plan to deal with the virus. Ministers will discuss urgent measures to stop the spread of the contagion after the country saw the death toll soar to 26, three times what it was before the weekend.
All those who have died in the country to date were aged over 60, with many living in nursing homes.
The government’s representative and health minister for the badly-affected Basque region, Sara Alba said the situation in the country called for “exceptional measures and robust action”.
Police have also been deployed to “guarantee the correct observance of home isolation”.
The country has also cancelled events in closed spaces and urged the public to remain at home if they believe they have picked up the virus.
On Saturday, police were deployed to lock down a neighbourhood in the city of Haro, following the outbreak of cases in the famous La Rioja region.
According to the health authorities 60 cases of the virus originated from a single funeral in the city of Vitoria-Gastiez.
Ms Alba said: “Following the principle of precaution that the department is obliged to abide by, we need to take exceptional measures designed to stop the transmission of the illness between citizens who are not following the advice of the health authorities.
“We are talking to the national health ministry about the situation in Haro and together we’ve agreed the measures we have taken up to now and are prepared for future scenarios.”
Fernando Simon, head of Spain’s centre for health emergencies also described the situation as “worrying”.
He added: “We’re talking about quarantining whole blocks in a small neighbourhood.
“The situation is ongoing and we don’t know where they are with the measures at the moment.”
A further two schools in the Basque region were also closed after cases were identified in each of them.
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A pupil at the school of Princess Leonor and her sister Princess Sofia had also been diagnosed with coronavirus.
A spokesman for the Spanish royal household said: “Like most parents, King Felipe and Queen Sofia are trying to maintain normality for their children, who are going to school today.”
Such has been the hit on the country, the Madrid Stock Exchange fell by seven percent at the start of Monday.
The fall in stocks was not just limited to Spain, however, as the FTSE 100 in London saw more than £130billion wiped within minutes on Monday morning.
There are 1,036 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Spain and have been 26 deaths
Spain coronavirus official statistics
The 500 point drop to below 6,000 represents the biggest fall since the Brexit referendum was announced.
There have now been three confirmed deaths in the UK and Prime Minister Boris Johnson will chair a COBRA meeting today to decide on whether to bring forward emergency measures.
Last week the Government announced a four-point battle plan to deal with the spread of the contagion.
England’s chief medical officer, Chris Whitty confirmed the UK was currently in the “containment” phase. At the COBRA meeting, the Government will decide on whether to move to the “delay” phase of the operation.
The outbreak in Spain is focused on Madrid and the Basque country, an industrial hub.
In Madrid alone, the number of confirmed cases rose dramatically by about 200 in just 24 hours yesterday.
Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said: “We want the [new] plan to be efficient and adjusted to the magnitude of the problem.
“The existing information suggests that in our country the crisis will have a negative impact, just as it will in the international arena.”
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