Spain’s COVID-19 death toll surpasses China’s Mar 26, 2020 0 86 12345 AFP / DPAMadridSPAIN joined Italy on Wednesday in seeing its death toll from the coronavirus epidemic surpass that of China. Spain confirmed 3,434 virus-related deaths after more than 738 people died in the past 24 hours, according to figures released by the country’s Health Ministry on Wednesday. In China, where the coronavirus originated, the officially confirmed death toll stands at 3,150.The Spanish capital Madrid remained the epicentre of the country’s outbreak, with the city’s death toll soaring by 300 within the past day to 1,800, more than half the country’s total. The total number of infections rose to 47,600 on Wednesday, an increase of 8,000 within the past 24 hours.China has begun to relax its own draconian restrictions on free movement after reporting no new cases, and Spain announced a 432-million-euro ($467 million) deal to buy medical supplies from Beijing.At the La Paz university hospital in Madrid, A&E nurse Guillen del Barrio sounded completely empty as he related what happened overnight.“It is really hard, we had feverish people for many hours in the waiting room,” the 30-year-old told AFP by telephone.“Many of my colleagues were crying because there were people who are dying alone, without seeing their family for the last time.”Hard-hit Spain and Italy were joined by France and six more EU countries in urging Germany and the Netherlands to allow the issue joint European bonds to cut borrowing costs and stabilise the eurozone economy.This is likely to fall on deaf ears when the 27 leaders talk on Thursday -- with northern members wary of pooling debt with big spenders -- but they will sign off on an “unprecedented” recovery plan.“COVID-19 is threatening the whole of humanity -- and the whole of humanity must fight back,” UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said, launching an appeal for $2 billion to help the world’s poor.As of 1100 GMT on Wednesday, the number of deaths around the world from the new coronavirus strain stood at 19,246, with more that 427,000 declared cases registered in 181 countries and territories. RELATED ARTICLES Prince Charles tests positive for coronavirus Mar 26, 2020 0 717 Vienna funerals go online amid coronavirus fears Mar 26, 2020 0 75 Nine EU leaders call for joint borrowing in Europe to address Covid-19 impact Mar 26, 2020 0 75 German MPs tear up fiscal rule book, pass huge coronavirus aid budget BERLIN: German lawmakers approved on Wednesday an emergency budget financing a coronavirus aid package that foresees 156 billion euros (167 billion dollars) in new debt, in a historic move that flouts the country’s .. French town removes public benches to curb virus spread LILLE: A town in northern France is dismantling dozens of public benches which are still attracting users despite a nationwide ban on all non-essential excursions from the home to curb coronavirus spread. “When even .. Italy mayor pledges to use drones and dirty words to enforce lockdown ROME: An Italian mayor has pledged to use drones to shout profanities at people ignoring stay-at-home rules for the containment of the coronavirus outbreak. “I can’t wait for it ... drones everywhere,” Cateno De Luca, .. White House, Senate reach deal on $2 trillion coronavirus rescue plan AFP Washington THE White House and Senate have reached agreement on a $2 trillion stimulus package for the US economy and millions of Americans ravaged by the coronavirus crisis, top lawmakers said early Wednesday. “At .. Pompeo says G7 agrees China spreading virus ‘disinformation’ AFP Washington US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Group of Seven foreign ministers agreed with him in talks on Wednesday that China was waging a “disinformation” campaign about the coronavirus pandemic. The top .. EU leaders voice solidarity with virus-hit Spain BRUSSELS: The leaders of EU institutions on Wednesday expressed solidarity with Spain as it struggles with an escalating coronavirus emergency. “I want you to know that we are working tirelessly to help you -- you are not ..