Spain saw a decline in the number of new deaths from the coronavirus for the third consecutive day, raising hopes that the worst of the country’s outbreak may be over.
The Health Ministry reported 674 fatalities in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 12,418. The number of confirmed cases rose to 130,759, from 124,736 a day earlier. The latest daily death toll is now lower than in the U.K., which reported 708 fatalities on Saturday.
Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced on Saturday plans to extend a national lockdown for another two weeks until April 25. He initiated the restrictions on March 14 for an initial two-week period and subsequently extended them until April 11 as the virus outbreak accelerated.
Spain’s economic recovery has been hobbled by the fallout from the virus. Jobless claims jumped in March and the purchasing managers index for services fell to a record.
“Europe must establish a wartime economy to strengthen resistance, and promote the reconstruction and recovery of Europe,” Sanchez said Sunday in an opinion article published by El Pais. “It has to do it as soon as possible with measures that back the public debt that many countries are now facing.”
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