Spain’s coronavirus death toll hits 7,340 – and more than 12,000 health worker infected

More than 46,600 coronavirus patients have been hospitalised, with 16,780 recovered and discharged. Health chiefs say although the end of the pandemic is not yet in sight, there is a slowing down of the death, infection and recovery rate which gives “some glimmer of hope for containment.”

The figures released this morning by the Spanish Ministry of Health come as thousands more Spaniards are ordered to stay at home under the State of Emergency rules.

These have been extended today to cover all economic activities considered as non-essential to the running of the country.

These workers, including those on construction sites, have been told to stay at home until at least Thursday, April 10.

Essential services include health, security, telecommunications and the power sector.

Retail establishments selling food and drink will be allowed to remain open, as will chemists, newsagents, pet food shops, launderettes, food delivery businesses, power supply businesses and companies related to petroleum and natural gas, among others.

Workers told to stay at home will get paid but will have to make up the hours later on a phased basis.

The Spanish Government hopes the new measure will help contain the spread of coronavirus by reducing the number of people out and about.

It would like activity level to be “like that on a Sunday.”

Those industries which have to close from today have been given 24-hours grace in order to arrange for the finalisation of their activities.

The original State of Emergency was declared on March 14 so Spaniards are now entering their third week of confinement.

The latest figures also show 12,300 health workers on the frontline of the fight against coronavirus have been infected.

This is a breaking story. Please come back for more updates.

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