Spain has cut almost 900,000 jobs since it imposed strict measures to fight the coronavirus, another sign of the economic impact of the outbreak in Europe’s second worst-hit country.
March’s figure is the highest monthly rise in unemployment ever recorded in the country, which already had one of the eurozone’s highest jobless rates.
Spain banned all but essential outings and shut most businesses in mid-March.
It has marked another grim milestone as the number of dead passed 10,000.
Around the world, the number of confirmed infections is nearing one million with more than 47,000 deaths recorded, according to Johns Hopkins University, which tracks virus figures globally. Some 195,000 people have recovered.
What is the latest from Spain?
The data shows 898,822 people have lost their jobs since the start of the lockdown, including about 550,000 temporary workers. Spain’s official unemployment figure rose to 3.5 million, the highest level since April 2017.
“This is an absolutely unprecedented situation,” Labour Minister Yolanda Díaz told a news conference. The tourism and construction sectors were the hardest hit.
The numbers come amid dire predictions about the possible economic impact of the measures imposed to fight the virus. A UN report estimated that up to 25 million jobs could be lost around the world.
Meanwhile, 10,003 people in Spain have died from Covid-19 – the disease caused by the coronavirus – as 950 new deaths were reported in the last 24 hours, another daily record, the health ministry said.
The number of confirmed cases rose from 102,136 on Wednesday to 110,238, an 8% rise. The day-to-day increases have been slowing down in recent days.
Italy has the world’s biggest death toll – 13,155 – and more than 110,000 confirmed cases. The country was the first in the West to impose stringent measures to curb the virus, and the government has warned of a “severe” recession.
What is happening elsewhere?
In the US, more than 5,000 people have died, including a six-week-old baby in Connecticut, believed to be America’s youngest victim of the virus so far. Officials warned as many as 240,000 people could die in the country even with the mitigation measures in place.
Confirmed infections across the US rose by more than 25,000 in one day. The worst-hit place is New York City, where nearly 47,500 people have tested positive and more than 1,300 have died, but new clusters are flaring up in places like Detroit and New Orleans.
Florida, Georgia and Mississippi have become the latest US states to issue lockdown orders. More than 75% of the country’s population have been ordered to stay at home.
In other developments around the world:
- Belgium‘s death toll has passed 1,000
- In Iran more than 3,100 deaths have been officially confirmed
- UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the government needed to “massively ramp up” testing amid growing criticism over the government’s response
- Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte warned people they could be shot dead if they caused trouble over restrictions, saying the police and the military had the authority to shoot if their lives were in danger
- In China, the city of Shenzhen has banned the eating of cats and dogs following the coronavirus
- Dharavi, a huge slum in India‘s financial capital, Mumbai, has reported its first death linked to the coronavirus. More than a million people live in extremely overcrowded conditions in Dharavi, believed to be the biggest slum in Asia
- Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has promised the largest economic programme in the country’s history