Christians around the world observed a Good Friday at home watching livestreams instead of at church, as pressure mounted on governments to restart some industries and fend off further economic devastation from the coronavirus.
The Associated Press reports worldwide, the death toll closed in on 100,000, with the confirmed number of infected topping 1.6 million, according to Johns Hopkins University.
The true numbers are believed to be much higher because of limited testing, different rules for counting the dead and cover-ups by some governments.
In addition to the lives lost, the pandemic has slammed economies around the world. The head of the International Monetary Fund has warned that the global economy is headed for the worst recession since the Depression. The U.N. labor organization said 195 million full-time jobs could be lost in the second quarter alone.
As weeks of lockdowns were extended in nation after nation, governments were pressed to ease restrictions on key businesses and industries.
The Spanish government worked to establish a 20 billion-euro fund to help small businesses and the self-employed cope with the economic fallout. After a two-week freeze on all nonessential economic activity, factories and construction sites in Spain can resume work Monday, while schools, most shops and offices will remain closed.
Spanish authorities said they trust that plans to allow nonessential workers back into factories and construction sites won’t cause a significant surge in infections.