Spain's coronavirus cases top 100,000 as masks, sanitiser flown in

Spain's coronavirus cases top 100,000 as masks, sanitiser flown in
  • Clock-gray 05:25
  • calendar-gray 02 April 2020

Two planes packed with protective equipment arrived to restock Spain’s overloaded public health system on Wednesday as its confirmed coronavirus cases rose beyond 100,000 and it recorded its biggest one-day death toll from the outbreak, APA reports citing Reuters.

Barring Italy, the virus has killed more people in Spain than anywhere else, triggering a lockdown that has brought economic activity to a virtual standstill. A survey showed Spain’s manufacturing sector is heading for a slump after shrinking in March at its steepest pace since 2013.

A record 864 fatalities overnight took the country’s overall toll to 9,053 while total infections rose to 102,136, health officials said, adding that the percentage increase in deaths was lower than in recent days.

“The central issue is no longer whether we’ve reached the peak or not, it seems like we are there,” health emergency chief Fernando Simon, who was himself diagnosed with the virus this week, told a briefing.

“The key issue is to make sure that the national health system is capable of guaranteeing adequate coverage of all our patients and treatment,” he said.

The streets of Madrid were virtually empty, with construction cranes standing idle and activity mostly found around hospitals, where health workers were setting up tents to expand capacity, and disinfection crews were spraying sanitiser.

Madrid’s regional government said it was treating more than 700 patients in 11 hotels requisitioned for the purpose.

Health Minister Salvador Illa said the growth rate of contagion was slowing and, after the peak was over, “the second stage will be to reverse it and the third to eradicate the virus.”

 

Most of Spain has been under lockdown since March 14, with all but essential workers confined to their homes after the state of emergency was tightened. But the virus has continued to spread, overburdening the health system and straining supplies of crucial medical equipment.

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