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Spain death toll hits 4,858 as 769 die in 24 hours

By AFP

Added 27th March 2020 05:32 PM

Spain has the world's second-highest death toll after Italy, and has so far suffered 4,858 deaths, while the number of cases jumped to 64,059.

Spain death toll hits 4,858 as 769 die in 24 hours

Healthcare workers dealing with the new coronavirus crisis in Spain, hug each other as they are cheered on by people outside La Fe hospital in Valencia on March 26, 2020. AFP PHOTO

Spain has the world's second-highest death toll after Italy, and has so far suffered 4,858 deaths, while the number of cases jumped to 64,059.

DEATHS  COVID-19  SECOND-HIGHEST
 
Madrid, Spain - The death toll in Spain soared over 4,800 on Friday after 769 people died in 24 hours, in what was a record one-day figure for fatalities in the country, the government said. 
 
Spain has the world's second-highest death toll after Italy, and has so far suffered 4,858 deaths, while the number of cases jumped to 64,059.
 
But the number of deaths in Spain over a 24-hour period was far higher than that registered Italy, which counted 662 deaths in its last update on Thursday night. 
 
Italy has so far suffered 8,165 deaths as a result of the epidemic with 80,539 people infected. 
 
Although Spain's latest figures showed a daily increase of nearly 8,000 new infections, the uptick comes as the country moves to dramatically increase its rate of testing, ordering millions of new kits from around the world.
 
Clear stabilisation
Despite the increase, the rate of new infections appears to be slowing, registering a 14 percent rise compared with 18 percent on Thursday. 
 
Fernando Simon, the health ministry's emergencies coordinator described the figure as "promising" saying it showed that the flattening trend of the curve "was ongoing".
 
"There is a clear stabilisation," he said, with the figures indicating "that, little-by-little, we're reaching the peak".
 
The surge in numbers has brought the medical system to the brink of collapse, with Spain inking a major supply deal with China to source equipment and material to increase its capacity for testing, treatment and the protection of frontline workers.
 
It has also seen a growing number of cases among healthcare personnel with 9,444 infected, Simon said, giving a figure which has nearly doubled since Tuesday when it stood at 5,400. 
 
Despite the positive indications in the overall numbers, Simon warned there would be no immediate easing of the situation within the heath care system, which could even get worse in the coming days. 
 
"This pressure on the care system will continue and could even increase in the coming three, four or five days," he said. 
 
What was important, he said, was to focus on the trend within the figures, rather than the headline numbers of death and infections. 
 
There have also been cases detected among the thousands of troops and police drafted in to help fight the virus, with officials saying 172 soldiers and 282 members of the Guardia Civil police had tested positive. 
 
Until Thursday night, Italy had registered the largest number of declared cases until it was overtaken by the United States, where 85,991 people have now tested positive for the virus.
 
Spain implemented a stringent nationwide lockdown on March 14 which will not be lifted until at least April 11, with the latest figures raising hope that the measures to curb the virus were beginning to take effect. 

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