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Russia reports record daily rise in new cases; Spain lifts some restrictions

Spain has reported 3,477 new coronavirus cases and a daily rise of 517 deaths Monday, bringing the total number of fatalities to 17,489, the country’s health ministry said. The number of daily deaths has fallen; the death toll the day before had been 619. The total number of confirmed cases in Spain has now reached 169,496 (including deaths and recoveries). Spain has started to lift certain restrictions, re-opening some construction sites and factories Monday.

Construction and factory workers in Spain return to work on Monday as the government lifts some of the most stringent lockdown measures, but opposition parties caution against an “imprudent” relaxation of the rules.

Spain, one of the worst-hit nations by Covid-19, has allowed some factories to reopen as well as some construction work to restart, after the sectors were ordered to stop production two weeks ago. However, the message from government officials is that the country remains in lockdown mode. Schools, bars, restaurants and other services continue to be closed to the public and Spaniards are meant to stay at home.

Russia reported 2,558 new infections on Monday, a record daily rise that brings the total number of infections to 18,328, the country’s coronavirus response center said. Russia has recorded 148 deaths from the virus so far. It says it has conducted 1.3 million tests.

U.S. tariffs on imported medical equipment, particularly from China, have added to the struggle in America’s fight against the coronavirus outbreak. The U.S. and China have been embroiled in an escalating tariff war since 2018. Across multiple rounds, tariffs were levied on essential medical supplies from China including medical protective clothing, personal protective equipment (PPE), CT systems and disposable medical headwear.

Without tariffs, the U.S. would be in “a better position in this bidding game” with so many countries scrambling to import critical medical products from China, Yanzhong Huang, senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations, told CNBC.

In a report published on March 13 by the Peterson Institute for International Economics, the think tank found that $3.3 billion in imports of critical health-care products still face 7.5% tariffs, while $1.1 billion of imports which could potentially treat Covid-19 remained subjected to 25% tariffs — even after the Trump administration cut and suspended some tariffs temporarily.

Coronavirus live updates: Russia reports record daily rise in new cases; Spain lifts some restrictions, CNBC, Apr 13

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