Spain reported its deadliest day since the outbreak of the coronavirus, with 769 deaths in the past 24 hours.
The total number of fatalities rose to 4,858, from 4,089, and the number of confirmed cases climbed to 64,059, from 56,188 a day earlier, the Health Ministry said.
The grim data comes with Spain near the end of a second week of a state of emergency set to last until April 11. With the nation on almost complete lockdown, the government is counting on limited social interactions helping contain the spread of the virus, which has already killed more people in Spain than in China where the pandemic originated.
Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s cabinet is holding an extraordinary meeting Friday morning to discuss their strategy to counter the virus and its wider impact. A news conference is expected after the meeting concludes.
The government last week announced a stimulus package worth as much as 100 billion euros ($110 billion). The measures include assistance for small and medium-sized enterprises — which account for the bulk of the nation’s economic activity and have been hammered by a collapse in demand — as well as tax deferments and loan guarantees.
Spain’s economy could shrink as much as 4.5% in 2020 due to the impact of the virus, according to a report published Friday by Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA.
“An extraordinary crisis like COVID-19 requires the use of all economic policy tools,” the bank said. “In this situation, fiscal-policy makers should do all they can to mitigate the possible permanent consequences.”