RTHK: Spain's virus death toll surges past China's figure
Spain's coronavirus death toll overtook that of China's official figure, rising to 3,434 after another 738 people died.

The spike in fatalities means that across the globe, only Italy – with 7,503 deaths – officially has a higher death toll than Spain.

In China, where the virus emerged late last year, the Covid-19 epidemic has claimed 3,281 lives, according to the latest data released by the authorities there. 

The latest figures were announced as Spain entered the 11th day of an unprecedented lockdown to try and rein in the deadly coronavirus outbreak that has now infected 47,610 people, the health ministry said.

Deputy Prime Minister Carmen Calvo, who has been in hospital since Monday, has tested positive for the virus and is improving, the government said.

Two other ministers in Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez's government are infected.

The surge in numbers has brought the medical system to the brink of collapse, with Spain struggling with a lack of medical supplies for testing, treatment and the protection of frontline workers, and a growing number of cases among healthcare personnel with more than 5,400 infected. 

Despite the national lockdown imposed on March 14, which is to be extended until April 11, both deaths and infections have continued to mount, with officials warning this week would be particularly bad. 

"We are approaching the peak," the ministry's emergencies coordinator Fernando Simon said in announcing the figures.

The Madrid region has suffered the brunt of the epidemic with 14,597 infections – just under a third of the total – and 1,825 deaths, or 53 percent of the national figure. (AFP)

This story has been published on: 2020-03-26. To contact the author, please use the contact details within the article.


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