Spain virus death toll now 2nd behind Italy
The death toll in Spain from the novel coronavirus shot up by more than 700 on Wednesday, surpassing China and is now second only to Italy as the pandemic is spreading rapidly in Europe.
Spain saw a record daily increase of 738 deaths, pushing it to 3,434 overall and past China’s 3,287, the ministry of health said. The country’s infections rose by 20 percent to 47,610, and more than 5,000 have recovered.
Fernando Simon, head of Spain’s health emergency coordination center, said he hoped the numbers would peak soon. “If we are not already at the peak, we are very close. I can’t say that we have reached it.”
Even once the numbers crest, it would be “counterproductive” to think about relaxing curbs anytime soon, he added.
With its health system overwhelmed, Spanish hotels have been converted into hospitals and a Madrid ice rink is being used as a temporary morgue.