Healthcare workers hug each other as they are cheered on by people outside a hospital in Spain. AFP
Spain confirmed another 838 deaths in 24 hours from coronavirus on Sunday, a new daily record bringing the total number of deaths to 6,528, according to health ministry figures.
The number of confirmed cases in Spain has now reached 78,797 − after the one-day increase of 9.1 per cent − as the country battles the world's second most deadly outbreak after Italy.
Except for a brief lull recorded on Thursday, Spain's death toll has been rising daily.
However, officials have pointed to a slower growth rate for both deaths and confirmed cases and expressed hope that the peak of the outbreak was approaching.
"The spread (of the pandemic) appears to be stabilising. It even appears to be in retreat, but we have to remember that our fundamental problem at the moment is to ensure the intensive care units are not saturated," said Fernando Simon, the health ministry's emergencies coordinator.
Simon said that six out of a total 17 regions "have reached their capacity limit and three more are fast approaching that stage." The toughening of the current lockdown conditions should help the situation, he added Spain also reported Sunday that 14,709 people had been cured of COVID-19, a rise of 19.7 per cent in 24 hours.
Like Italy, Spain on Saturday tightened measures to contain the outbreak, ordering a halt to all "non-essential" activities.
"All workers in non-essential economic activities must stay at home for two weeks," Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said.
The health, food and energy sectors are among areas considered to be essential.
An emergency cabinet meeting on Sunday was to decide on the details of the new measure.
Currently, people in Spain are authorised to leave home for work if remote work is not possible, to buy food, get medical care or briefly walk their dog.
"The scenario of the coronavirus reaching multiple countries, if not all countries around the world, is something we have been looking at and warning against since quite a while."
Authorities concerned affirmed that the UAE is cooperating with competent Iranian authorities to facilitate the operation as per operating systems and procedures and to ensure the safety of visitors and those responsible for the evacuation operations.
Another five Japanese nationals died on the Diamond Princess cruise ship while more than 700 others on the vessel tested positive for the disease.
The decision comes a day after two cases of coronavirus were reported in Pakistan. Both the infected people had recently visited Iran, where the number of people affected by the virus has grown drastically in the past few days. Health officials have said both were "stable."
Around 200 homeless Pakistanis stranded for weeks in Dubai will be repatriated through a special flight to Pakistan as announced by the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development on Saturday.
Canadian University Dubai (CUD) made history as it became the first university in the world to display images of its graduating class on the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. The ceremony was the leading Dubai-based university’s 10th graduation event, and recognised its class of 2020 by illuminating one of the most iconic buildings in the world with the faces of this year’s graduates.
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