Coronavirus Spain map: The top regions in Spain struck down by killer virus

Spain is behind China, South Korea, Italy, Iran, France and Germany, which makes it the fourth most-affected European country. There are 968 cases in Spain, where 24 people have died and 32 have recovered.

Health authorities in the Iberian nation are considering implementing measures to contain COVID-19 after cases jumped significantly in two of its regions in the last few days.

Almost 470 cases are in and around Madrid, home to 6.66m people.

Infections more than doubled in Comunidad de Madrid in 24 hours.

Deaths in the region, where cases have mostly been found in nursing homes and among health workers, also shot up from eight to 16 overnight, the Madrid regional health department announced on Monday.

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The other big coronavirus cluster in Spain is in the northern Basque country, an autonomous region.

Many infections there have been linked to people who attended a funeral.

Some public activities have been halted and authorities have ordered all elderly recreational centres to close temporarily.

Schools and universities in the Basque capital Vitoria will close for two weeks, sending tens of thousands of pupils home, authorities in the region said on Monday.

A spokesman for the Basque Country education department told Reuters: “All education activities are suspended in the city of Vitoria for two weeks from kindergarten to universities.” The measure would affect 63,000 students, Basque newspaper El Correo said.

Schools will also be closed for two weeks in the smaller Basque town of Labastida.

Deaths in Spain have been reported in Cataluna, Comunidad Valenciana, Aragon, Pais Vasco and in Comunidad de Madrid.

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Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said the government was preparing plans to mitigate the impact of the virus on the country’s economy.

Without giving details, the Prime Minister said the government had been working on the plan for two weeks and was ready to roll it out in collaboration with trade unions and businesses.

Mr Sanchez: “We will announce a shock therapy plan in a few days, as soon as we determine the exact diagnosis and fine-tune the measures.

“We want the plan to be effective and proportional to the scale of the problem.”

Economy Minister Nadia Calvino said the government was considering taking temporary measures to support the worst-hit industries, such as tourism.

The worst affected areas are the tourist hotspots of Costa Brava, Costa Blanca, the Balearic Islands, the Canary Islands and Madrid.

Ms Calvino said the government expected the economic impact of the coronavirus to be temporary and limited.

Several major events have been called off or postponed in Spain to minimise the transmission risk, but the government has so far not introduced more drastic measures such as travel bans.

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