Coronavirus deaths in Spain hit 491, infections up to 11,178

A Plaza Mayor square is empty due to the spreading of coronavirus (Covid-19) in Madrid, Spain following the lockdown on March 15, 2020. ( (Photo by Burak Akbulut/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images) )

The number of deaths in Spain due to the new coronavirus has jumped from 309 to 491 in 24 hours and new infections have risen to 11,178, nearly 2,000 more than a day earlier.

The numbers were reported Tuesday by the nation’s health emergency center director, Fernando Simón. With a population of 46 million, Spain became on Monday the fourth country in the world with most coronavirus cases, surpassing South Korea and edging closer to Iran.

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Spanish police started enforcing land border checks Tuesday after the country, already under strict lock-down measures, banned people from entering or exiting the country in an attempt to contain the spread of the new coronavirus.

At the La Jonquera border, a key crossing point for trucks from and to France in northeaster Spain, masked agents of Spain’s national and Catalan regional police stopped cars and trucks, checked documents and redirected some of the vehicles back to France.

Spanish citizens and residents are allowed to return home, and goods are allowed in and out.