Spain Reports Fewest New Virus Cases in More Than Three Weeks

(Bloomberg) -- Spain reported the smallest number of new coronavirus infections since March 20 on Monday and saw the daily death toll decrease.

Over the past 24 hours, there were 3,477 new cases detected, bringing the total number to 169,496, the health ministry said. The country saw 517 more people die from Covid-19, bringing the total to 17,489.

Spain is currently in the fifth week of a nationwide lockdown that is keeping most people at home, many shops closed and large swathes of the economy on standstill as the government tries to contain the outbreak. Spain has overtaken Italy to become the focal point of the pandemic in Europe and has more confirmed cases than any country other than the U.S.

The fight against the virus is “a war” that requires sacrifices from many individuals, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said in a April 12 speech in which he sought to rally political parties, unions and business groups to work together to rebuild the economy once the disease is under control.

Sanchez has faced criticism from his political opponents over his handling of the outbreak which saw hospitals overwhelmed and short of vital equipment and is battling to limit the damage to Spain’s economy.

Output is likely to drop by more than 10% in the first quarter, Oxford Economics said April 3. Still, the prime minister has lined up a 100 billion-euro ($109 billion) stimulus package and that could mean the contraction is less than 4.5% for the year as a whole, according to Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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