Spain extended its state of emergency for two more weeks to allow the government to extend stringent lockdown measures in a desperate attempt to contain the coronavirus.
Spain reported 738 new deaths in one day on Wednesday while Italy announced 683. The two countries have the highest fatality rate in the global pandemic.
Spain has now surpassed China, where the pandemic began, in the overall number of COVID-19 deaths.
The Moody’s credit rating agency said it is forecasting an economic recession for all G20 countries in 2020, while United Nations director-general Antonio Guterres said coronavirus “threatens the whole humanity.”
India on Tuesday started implementing the world’s biggest lockdown of 1.3 billion people, following the example of a number of countries, especially in Europe, which remains the global coronavirus hotspot.
Finland, which has 880 confirmed cases of coronavirus and has reported three deaths, announced on Wednesday the lockdown of the capital Helsinki and its region, starting Friday until 19 April.
France announced a total of 25,233 confirmed COVID-19 cases on Wednesday as its death toll reached 1,331, with 231 new deaths in one day.
The country has introduced legislation to implement a “war economy” amid the pandemic and as the country has been under lockdown for a week.
The UK on Wednesday confirmed the death of the deputy to the British ambassador to Hungary, Steven Dick, 37, of COVID-19.
British PM Boris Johnson announced on Wednesday that over 400,000 people answered a call to volunteer for the NHS health service in one day.