Spain COVID-19 deaths double overnight to 288; around 8,000 infected
Madrid (Spain): Health authorities in Spain say deaths from the coronavirus have more than doubled in 24 hours, while total infections approached 8,000.
The Health Ministry said Spain has recorded 288 deaths since the start of the pandemic, up from 136 on Saturday. The European Union nation has 7,753 infections, up from 5,700 on Saturday, with around half of them concentrated in the capital of Madrid.
The jump comes a day after Spain's government declared a state of emergency and took extraordinary measures to limit movement to commuting to work and necessary errands. It has also closed restaurants, bars, most retail shops and reduced public transport.
Spain awoke to its first day of a nationwide quarantine on Sunday after the government declared a two-week state of emergency.
The government imposed the special measures including the confinement of people to their homes unless shopping for food and medicine, going to and from work, and to meet other basic needs.
Restaurants and hotels are closed and public transport reduced.
In Barcelona, people who ventured out on quiet streets to buy bread at one bakery formed long lines with a meter (about three feet) in between each person as recommended by authorities to reduce the risk of contagion. Police patrolled parks and told people who weren't taking their dog on a quick walk to go home.
The state of emergency declared by the government of Pedro Sánchez includes the temporary centralization of Spain's health care system which is run by regional authorities.
"The state of emergency was a measure I was asking for because it is necessary to unify our efforts so we can all go in the same direction," Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau said Sunday. "If we show solidarity and think about one another we can get through this. Other countries have, and it is in our hands to give our best answer to this huge challenge."
As of Saturday, Spain reported over 5,700 infections and 136 deaths from the virus.