Death toll in Spain passes China as coronavirus ravages Europe

Cheryl Sanders
March 26, 2020

Spain's coronavirus toll overtook that of China on Wednesday, rising to 3,434 after another 738 people died as Madrid announced a multi-million-euro deal with Beijing for critical supplies.

The death toll rose to 3,434, making Spain the country with the second-highest mortality rate from COVID-19.

The dire news about the outbreak comes after Spain's Defense Minister Margarita Robles said this week that soldiers who were tasked with bolstering cleaning and relief efforts had found elderly people in some care facilities "completely abandoned" and even "dead in their beds", as Lucía Benavides reported for NPR.

The coronavirus pandemic has infected more than 424,000 people and killed at least 18,000 across the world. Schools, bars, restaurants and most shops are shuttered, social gatherings banned and people confined to their homes.

In Britain, heir to the throne Prince Charles became the latest high-profile figure to become infected while Prime Minister Boris Johnson praised the country's response to tackle the outbreak despite accusations it was slow to act. China followed Spain with 3,163 deaths.

As the overall number of cases leapt 20 per cent to 47,610 yesterday, authorities in Madrid started carrying out mass testing in a requisitioned fairground.

The government reported 658 cases of the new coronavirus in Russian Federation, up from 495 a day before.

He said Ms Merkel would undergo a series of tests, adding: 'If there are developments, we will tell you.' Her initial test for coronavirus was negative. "The other generations in Spain have never, ever had to face as a collective something so hard", he said when he imposed the state of emergency on March 14.

Madrid long accounted for around half of Spain's coronavirus cases but data published on Tuesday showed the capital now had just under a third of the total, a sign the epidemic is spreading throughout the country.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the state had 285 deaths and that cases were projected to only peak in 21 days with 30,000 ventilators needed by then.

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