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Spain’s novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), the virus causing the COVID-19 disease, death toll numbers has surpassed China’s after the biggest one-day jump of 7,457 new cases and 738 new deaths reported over 24 hours on March 25.
The total death toll in Spain has reached 3,647 with 49,515 cases reported, while China has a death toll of 3,287 as of March 25, with 81,285 reported cases.
The surge in coronavirus cases has not only caused a strain on the public healthcare system, but has also resulted in about 5,400 healthcare workers testing positive for the virus. This accounts for around 14% of the total cases in Spain.
Spain has signed an agreement with China for the latter to supply 550 million masks, 5.5 million rapid test kits, 950 respirators and 11 million pairs of gloves to Madrid, while the country is facing a shortage of medical equipment.
Spain imposed a national lockdown on March 14 and officials predict that the peak of the pandemic will hit sometime this week. “We are approaching the peak,” Spain’s Health Ministry’s emergencies coordinator Fernando Simon said.
During the course of this week, health officials should be able to tell whether the lockdown has produced any desired effect in curbing the spread of the deadly virus. “This is a very hard week because we’re in the first stages of overcoming the virus, a phase in which we are approaching the peak of the epidemic,” Health Minister Salvador Illa said.
With the death toll jump, morgues are also reportedly running out of space. An Olympic-sized ice-skating rink in Madrid in the Palacio de Hielo mall, has been transformed into a makeshift mortuary.
Ministers test positive
Spain’s Deputy Prime Minister Carmen Calvo tested positive on March 25 for the coronavirus after initially testing negative. Calvo tested a second time due to inconclusive results produced by the first test. After experiencing respiratory problems, she has now been hospitalized in Madrid and is currently receiving treatment at a quarantine facility.
Other ministers in the European nation were tested for the virus after Spain’s Minister of Equality Irene Montero had also tested positive, alongside Carolina Darias, the minister of Territorial Policy and Civil Service.
Armed forces in the country have now also requested aid from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to provide assistance in the efforts to curb the spread of the virus.
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