Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez says his government has prepared an emergency plan to deal with the economic consequences of the coronavirus, which it plans to launch “as soon as possible.”
Without providing any details, Sanchez said the government has been working on the plan for two weeks and is now ready to roll it out, in collaboration with trade unions and businesses.
As the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise here, authorities in the Basque Country, one of three main affected areas, have ordered all schools and education centers in Vitoria, to close for the next 15 days.
At least 1,043 people have now tested positive for the virus by the latest nationwide count and the death toll has climbed to 26, a significant rise from the 10 deaths recorded on Saturday.
In the Madrid region, infections and deaths from Covid-19 have doubled since Sunday, reaching 469 and 16 respectively, leading officials to consider stricter measures to contain the spread of the virus.
All the fatalities were elderly people with underlying health problems.
Five of them were over 90 years old, eight were over 80, three over 70 and one was 69.
This pattern underscores how senior citizens are the biggest at-risk group from a disease where the mortality rate for other population segments ranges from low to zero, in the case of young children, according to a study conducted in China.
For now Spain remains in “containment” mode, meaning that ill people are being kept in isolation and their contacts quarantined to prevent uncontrolled spread amongst communities.
There are no current plans for lockdowns like Italy has ordered in the north of the country.
Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has praised the efforts of Spain’s health care workers to keep the disease in check.
Although every single region has reported the presence of the virus, 60% of cases are concentrated in three of them: La Rioja, Madrid and the Basque Country.