Loading
Breaking
Now Reading: SECOND-MOST | COVID deaths in Spain surpass that of China
SECOND-MOST | COVID deaths in Spain surpass that of China
March 25, 2020 , 11:44 PM

By Sonya Dowsett, Jesús Aguado

MADRID (Reuters) – Spain’s coronavirus death toll jumped by 738 overnight to exceed that of China, where the disease originated, as the country struggled to cope with an accelerating health crisis.

With 3,434 fatalities, Spain now has the second highest number of deaths globally after Italy’s 6,820. Nursing homes across the country have been overwhelmed by cases and a skating rink in Madrid has been turned into a makeshift morgue.

Police stood guard on Wednesday outside the capital’s Palacio de Hielo rink, normally a popular venue for children’s birthday parties, as hearses and ambulances arrived at the building.

Broad avenues in Madrid and Barcelona were virtually deserted, as were towns and villages across Spain, while fire engines and tractors sprayed disinfectant to clean streets.

Authorities began to carry out mass testing for public workers in a requisitioned fairground in Madrid, one of the worst-hit regions.

Spanish medical staff, who themselves account for thousands of infected cases, have taken out lawsuits against the government, complaining of the lack of basic protective equipment like masks, scrubs and gloves.

The Spanish army has asked NATO for ventilators, protective gear and testing kits, Armed Forces Chief Miguel Villarroya said on Wednesday.

The government had ordered 432 million euros ($467 million) worth of masks, gloves, testing kits and ventilators to be delivered over the next eight weeks, with the first large batch expected this week, Health Minister Salvador Illa said.

In an example of how companies are changing assembly lines to produce medical products, a shoe factory in northern Spain has switched to making simple protective masks – first for its own personnel and then for distribution.

“Now we are working hard to … make something a little more sophisticated for it to reach medical use,” Basilio Garcia, chief executive of the Callaghan shoe factory, told Reuters.

Spain is on Day 11 of a 15-day nationwide lockdown which is likely to be extended to 30 days. Schools, bars, restaurants and most shops are shuttered. Social gatherings are banned. People are confined to their homes.

“We have achieved a near total reduction in social contact,” health emergency chief Fernando Simon told a news conference, adding that Spain was nearing the peak of the epidemic.

However, the infection rate is still soaring with the number of coronavirus cases increasing by a fifth in 24 hours to 47,610 on Wednesday.

Aside from the devastating health impact, the lockdown has dealt a punishing blow to the Spanish economy, with tens of thousands of workers temporarily laid off as sectors like retail, tourism and manufacturing grind to a halt.

At Malaga airport in southern Spain, a gateway to the Costa del Sol tourist region, thousands of travelers awaited flights home, many sleeping on seats or on the floor.

The Bank of Spain said on Wednesday that there had been severe disruption on the economy since early March and a sharp contraction in consumer spending.

(Reporting By Clara-Laeila Laudette, Inti Landauro, Jesus Aguado and Belen Carreno; Writing by Sonya Dowsett and Andrei Khalip; editing by Philippa Fletcher)

More From News5
Ex-FHM model sa drug buy-bust
Nasabat sa dating modelo ang ilang pakete ng shabu, ecstacy at pipe para sa liquid shabu na ibinibenta raw sa online store.
Published On: March 2, 2020
2020 Tokyo Olympics, tuloy sa kabila ng banta ng COVID-19
Tiniyak ng local organizers na handa silang protektahan kontra COVID-19 ang libu-libong atleta na lalahok sa Olympics. For more videos, visit us at www.news5.com.ph.
Published On: March 2, 2020
Sen. Drilon, naghain ng concurrent resolution sa ABS-CBN franchise extension
Mas mabilis ang proseso sa concurrent resolution dahil pag-apruba lamang ng Kamara at Senado ang kailangan para mapalawig hanggang June 30, 2020 ang prangkisa ng ABS-CBN. | via Greg Gregorio. For more videos, visit us at www.news5.com.ph.
Published On: March 2, 2020
Apology ng ABS-CBN, tinanggap na ni Duterte
Tinanggap na ni Pres. Duterte ang paumanhin ng ABS-CBN sa hindi nito pag-ere ng kanyang political advertisements noong 2016 elections. Natanong din siya tungkol sa quo warranto petition ng Office of the Solicitor General na pinapawalang bisa ang prangkisa ng broadcast network. | via Maricel Halili For more videos, visit us at www.news5.com.ph.
Published On: March 2, 2020
Jovie Espenido, 'cleared' na sa droga sa region 6
Nilinaw ng PNP na hindi pa final ang desisyon dahil sa isasailalim pa sa national level validation ang pagkakadawit ni P/Lt. Col. Jovie Espenido sa drug watchlist. For more videos, visit us at www.news5.com.ph.
Published On: March 2, 2020
Pag-iingat ng simbahan vs. COVID-19 ngayong Semana Santa
Maraming simbahan ngayong Ash Wednesday ang ibinudbod sa bunbunan imbes na ipinahid sa noo ang abo bilang pag-iingat laban sa coronavirus disease. | via Jen Calimon. For more videos, visit us at www.news5.com.ph.
Published On: March 2, 2020
Kinompronta ni Calida ang isang ABS CBN reporter
"Ikaw, lagi mo akong binabanatan ha." Kinompronta ni Solicitor General Jose Calida ang isang reporter ng ABS-CBN nang manghingi ito ng kopya ng petition for quo warranto para sa pagpapawalang-bisa ng prangkisa ng network.
Published On: February 17, 2020
Nilinaw ni Sec. Panelo ang naging confusion sa pagkansela sa VFA
Ipinaliwanag ni Sec. Salvador Panelo na nagkalituhan daw sa tenses na ginamit kaya magkaiba ang naging pahayag nila ni Defense Sec. Delfin Lorenzana tungkol sa pagpapasa ng termination notice ng Visiting Forces Agreement sa Amerika. Sinabi rin ni Panelo na mas mahalagang malaman na hindi magbabago ang isip ng Pangulo sa isyu.
Published On: February 17, 2020
Babaeng astronaut na bumalik sa mundo, gumawa ng record
328 na araw nananatili sa space ang American astronaut na si Christina Koch. For more videos, visit us at www.news5.com.ph.
Published On: February 17, 2020
Inflation forecast para sa 2020, itinaas ng BSP
Posibleng pumalo sa 3% ang inflation o kabuuang pagtaas ng presyo ng mga bilihin at serbisyo ngayong taon, batay sa pagtataya ng Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. For more videos, visit us at www.news5.com.ph.
Published On: February 17, 2020
Top Stories
SUSPENDED | Philippines halts withdrawal from VFA with the U.S.
(June 2, 2020) – The Philippine government on Tuesday suspended the abrogation of the two decades-old military agreement allowing access to t
Published On: June 2, 2020
VIRUS CASES RISE STEADILY | Philippines records 359 new coronavirus cases, average deaths down
(June 2, 2020) – Health officials on Tuesday reported nearly 360 new cases of infections, including 176 “fresh” confirmed positive cases of c
Published On: June 2, 2020
POOR PLANNING | Public complain lack of public transportation, dare officials to commute
(June 2, 2020) – The public blasted transportation officials over lack of planning as commuter buses, jeepneys and utility vehicles were banned o
Published On: June 2, 2020
RETURN TO NORMAL | New Zealand may remove all virus restriction next week
WELLINGTON (Reuters) – New Zealand’s Prime Minister said on Tuesday that all remaining restrictions to limit the spread of the coronavirus
Published On: June 2, 2020
REMEMBRANCE | Hong Kong people aim to mark Tiananmen despite ban
HONG KONG (Reuters) – Many Hong Kong people will find their own way to mark the 31st anniversary of Chinese troops opening fire on protesters
Published On: June 2, 2020