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Spain becomes first western European country to record more than one million Covid-19 cases



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Spain has become the first country in western Europe to record more than one million coronavirus cases.

The health ministry confirmed on Wednesday that the nation of 47 million had reached the grim milestone after reporting 16,973 more cases in the past 24 hours.

Spain’s accumulative case load since the start of the pandemic has now reached 1,005,295.

The country’s death toll currently stands at 34,366, according to the health ministry.

Experts say the real numbers of infections and deaths are probably much higher because insufficient testing, asymptomatic cases and other issues impede authorities from capturing the true scale of the outbreak.

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As the numbers rise, authorities in charge of health policy in Spain’s regions are tightening restrictions.

Spain’s health minister Salvador Illa and regional heads of health will meet on Thursday to discuss their virus strategies and consider employing nightly curfews to target late-night partying as a source of contagion.

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AFP via Getty Images

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Getty Images

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AFP via Getty Images

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AFP via Getty Images

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The facade of the Palacio de Lopez (seat of the government palace)

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An LAPD patrol car drives through Venice Beach Boardwalk

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Los Angeles, California

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Empty escalators are seen at a deserted train station during morning rush hour after New South Wales began shutting down non-essential businesses

Reuters

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AFP via Getty Images

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Caracas

AFP via Getty Images

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Metropolitan Cathedral of San Salvador

AFP via Getty Images

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A general view of an unusually quiet Midland Park in Wellington, New Zealand

Getty Images

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A general view of an unusually quiet Civic Square at lunchtimein Wellington, New Zealand

Getty Images

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A policeman rides his motorcycle wearing a face mask in front of a closed shopping mall in Buenos Aires, Argentina

AFP via Getty Images

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Florida Keys

AP

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The historic Channel 2 Bridge closed to fishermen, bikers and pedestrians in Florida Keys

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The Beach on Scenic Gulf Drive near Seascape Resort in south Walton County, Florida sits empty of tourists

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AFP via Getty Images

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A general view is seen of a closed Luna Park in Sydney, Australia

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Empty roads are pictured following the lockdown by the government amid concerns about the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Kathmandu, Nepal

Reuters

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An empty New York Subway car i

AFP via Getty Images

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The empty pedestrian zone is seen in the city of Cologne, western Germany,

AFP via Getty Images

39/45

Place de la Comedie in the city of Montpellier , southern France

AFP via Getty Images

40/45

An empty street in Kuwait city

AFP via Getty Images

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A building is covered by the Portuguese message: “Coronavirus: take precaution” over empty streets in downtown Sao Paulo, Brazil,

AP

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A general view shows an empty street after a curfew was imposed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

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Parliament of Canada is pictured with empty street during morning rush hour

AFP via Getty Images

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A near empty beach on Southend seafront in England

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Near empty Keswick town centre in Cumbria, England

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“I want to be very clear,” Mr Illa warned on Tuesday. “Some very hard weeks are coming.”

Authorities are hoping to avoid a second lockdown of home confinements that stemmed the first wave of the virus but left the economy reeling.

Spain orders Madrid lockdown amid resurgence of coronavirus cases

The regional government of northern Aragon announced on Wednesday they have closed the city limits of Zaragoza, Huesca and Teruel.

Neighbouring Navarra, which leads Spain in infections per 100,000 over 14 days, is preparing to become the first Spanish region to close its borders on Thursday.

La Rioja will also close its regional borders on Friday.

Additional reporting by PA Media.

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