MADRID: Spain recorded 514 deaths from the coronavirus on Tuesday, the highest daily increase so far, as the country struggles to contain the outbreak despite strict rules that are keeping people from leaving their homes.
There were 2,696 deaths in total, compared to 2,182 the day before, according to the latest health ministry data. The number of confirmed cases rose to 39,673 from 33,089.
Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez had warned over the weekend that the worst was yet to come, and called on Spaniards "to be strong."
The country is already in the second week of a lockdown set to continue until April 11, with severe restrictions on mobility, police patrolling the streets and the army helping to move patients.
In Madrid, the region worst hit by the crisis, the regional and city governments have set up make-shift hospitals in hotels and at the main convention center to alleviate the stress on a public health service operating at full capacity.
While the situation in Spain is not as grim as in Italy, the epicenter of the outbreak in Europe, it became on Saturday the second European country to register more than 1,000 deaths from the disease.
To try and offset the economic impact, the Spanish government announced a financial stimulus package worth as much as 20% of its gross domestic product. It plans to provide 100 billion euros of guarantees to company loans, as well as 17 billion euros of direct aid to keep firms afloat during the lockdown.