Spain is reeling under the onslaught of the coronavirus, with fatalities surpassing those of China, the health system collapsing and retirement homes becoming open graves.
Hospitals are running out of critical supplies, and about a third of medical staff have been contaminated by the highly contagious virus, carried by tens of thousands of infected people cramming clinics in Madrid, Barcelona and other large cities.
"Intensive care units and hospitals are on the verge of collapse," Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez told Congress on Wednesday evening, when he asked for his emergency powers to be extended until April 12.
He also asked Congress for $350 billion in emergency funding to confront the crisis and cushion the country against the economic consequences of confining people to their homes for a month.
The government expects three months of economic paralysis, which could cause a 9.7% drop in GDP this year and a 10% rise in its deficit, according to Goldman Sachs.
Source : VOA