More than 660,000 people have been infected by the novel coronavirus globally and more than 30,000 have died, as the world enters another week of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Spanish authorities have said the country's death toll — second only to Italy — rose by 838 cases overnight, to 6,528.

Madrid's regional government announced an official period of mourning for those who have died, while nationwide infections rose to 78,797 from 72,248 the day before.

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, in a televised address to the nation on Saturday night, announced that all non-essential workers must stay at home for two weeks, the latest government measure in the fight against coronavirus.

Schools, bars, restaurants and shops selling non-essential items have been shut since March 14 and most of the population is house-bound as Spain tries to curb the virus.

The UK Government has placed an order for 10,000 ventilators made by a consortium of companies including Ford, Airbus and Rolls Royce.

Britain's publicly funded National Health Service currently has less than 8,000 ventilators at its disposal, senior Government minister Michael Gove said.

The machines are vital for the care of people who suffer lung failure, which can be one of the complications suffered by patients with severe COVID-19.

The move comes after the country's Prime Minister Boris Johnson and several senior ministers announced they had tested positive for the disease.

Some 19,522 confirmed cases have been recorded across the UK, with the nation's death toll reaching 1,228.

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Associated Press 11 May 2020 11:44 CEST

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