Coronavirus live news: Madrid lockdown looms; 34m jobs lost in Latin America

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12.56am BST

The UN’s International Labour Organization said Wednesday that at least 34 million jobs have been lost in Latin America due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The ILO urged countries in the region to adopt immediate strategies to deal with the problem, AP reports.

The count was up from the ILOs previous estimates in early August that 14 million jobs had been lost in the region.

The organization’s Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, Vinícius Pinheiro, called it an unprecedented challenge.

Pinheiro said the third quarter had brought a recovery in economic activity and, according to preliminary data, a tentative recovery in employment.

He said the region faced structural problems like low productivity, income inequality and a large percentage of people working off the books.

The ILO figures were based on data from nine countries which account for 80% of the region’s workforce.

The ILO lists Latin America and the Caribbean as the worst-hit region in the world in terms of lost working hours, with a drop of 20.9% in the first three quarters of the year, compared to an average of 11.7% worldwide.

12.46am BST

Residents of infection hotspot Madrid are to be barred from leaving except on essential trips under new rules to fight the coronavirus resurgence, Spain’s government said on Wednesday.

But regional authorities said the decision had no legal basis, Reuters reports, setting the stage for a political showdown in an area accounting for more than a third of Spain’s 133,604 new cases in the past two weeks.

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