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Spanish coronavirus: Death toll nears 500

Spain’s health officials say fatalities from coronavirus jumped to 491 on Tuesday from 309 the day before.

The number of confirmed cases also soared by 2,000 to 11,178, as the country closed its borders and maintained a partial lockdown on 47 million people.

Death tolls have increased elsewhere, with Iran reporting 135 more, taking its official total close to 1,000.

The EU wants to ban all non-essential cross-border travel, as France started its own strict lockdown.

The EU ban, which applies across Europe’s Schengen free-travel zone, will be in place for at least thirty days. It will affect all but long-term residents, family members of EU nationals and diplomats, cross-border and healthcare workers, and people transporting goods.

EU leaders will discuss the measures via video conference later on Tuesday.

The latest World Health Organization (WHO) figures say there are about 173,000 infections globally and 7,000 deaths.

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