Coronavirus: Spain Surpasses China’s Death Toll

Spain is now second only to Italy in coronavirus-related deaths, reporting a daily increase of 738 casualties over the past 24 hours, the largest increase since the outbreak hit the country. 

The overall number of victims rose to 3,434 from 2,696 on Tuesday, surpassing the death toll in China, which stands at 3,285. The total number of confirmed cases surged by 8,000, hitting 47,610.

With its health system overwhelmed, and with over 5,400 healthcare workers infected, Spain has asked NATO for urgent help, requesting 1.5 million surgical masks, 150,000 protective suits and 450,000 ventilators.

Spanish hotels have been converted into hospitals and a Madrid ice rink is being used as a makeshift morgue. 

The head of Spain’s health emergency coordination center, Fernando Simón, said “If we are not already at the peak, we are very close. I cannot say that we have reached it.” Even once the numbers peak, it would be 'counterproductive' to assume that Spain can relax restrictions anytime soon," he added.

Around 436,420 persons worldwide have been infected with the coronavirus and more than 19,640 have died.

Many hope, however, that radical measures to keep people away from one another can halt the spread of the illness and flatten the infection curve. China's Hubei province, where the outbreak is thought to have emerged late last year, already started lifting its lockdown.

By Elene Dzebisashvili

25 March 2020 17:01