Spain sees sudden surge in Covid-19 deaths, toll nears 500

Madrid, March 17 (IANS) Spain, which had reported 309 coronavirus-related deaths till Monday, saw the fatalities surge to 491 on Tuesday, reports said.

The number of confirmed cases also soared by 2,000 to 11,178, in the country, which had like many fellow European nations, closed its borders and ordered a partial lockdown.

From midnight, Spain began stopping cars from France and Portugal, allowing in only Spanish nationals, residents and cross-border workers, the BBC reported.

Madrid remains the area with the highest number of cases – 4,871 – with Catalonia next on 1,394.

Meanwhile, authorities are cracking down as the dog-walking exception to the lockdown is reportedly being exploited as an excuse to leave home.

The government had forbidden people to leave home, except for emergencies, going to work and essential errands, like taking out pets.

This last one is being taken advantage of with people using it to take lengthy strolls, socialising in public or even take out stuffed animals.

A video shared by Spanish police union Jupol on Twitter appears to show a man walking through the street with a toy dog on a leash as a police car pulls up alongside him.

In the tweet, Jupol warned people they could be punished if they try to deceive the police.



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