Sunday, September 20, 2020
banner
Home /  Europe  /  Spain’s COVID-19 death toll surpasses China’s

Spain’s COVID-19 death toll surpasses China’s

Spain’s COVID-19 death toll surpasses China’s

AFP / DPA
Madrid
SPAIN 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.