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Coronavirus: Spain reports 182 deaths in a day

Spain’s confirmed case number surges to over 11,000, with virus killing 491 people so far

Alyssa McMurtry   | 17.03.2020
Coronavirus: Spain reports 182 deaths in a day

OVIEDO, Spain

The coronavirus pandemic is becoming increasingly apparent in Spain’s hospitals, which registered a total of 491 deaths on Tuesday, with 182 more people compared to a day earlier.

The number of confirmed cases in the country also jumped up nearly 2,000 in one day to 11,178, according to the Health Ministry.

According to Fernando Simon, the head of Spain’s emergency services, approximately 455 healthcare workers have been infected.

Spain, the world’s fourth-worst affected country by the virus, has been on full lockdown since Saturday night.

At the moment, there are 563 coronavirus patients in Spain’s intensive care units, with over half of them in Madrid. The death rate in Madrid has been 7.3% so far, but there are many cases yet to be confirmed.

On Monday, Ignacio Aguado, vice president of Madrid, called on Spain’s Health Ministry to urgently bring in more material such as ventilators, masks, monitoring machines and protective gear for healthcare workers.

Madrid plans to open hotels that will act as hospitals for patients with less severe symptoms beginning Wednesday.

Since at least Sunday, Spain has only been testing people who need to be hospitalized and have an acute respiratory infection. There are some exceptions, like healthcare workers and politicians, who can get tested easier.

On Tuesday, during a daily televised press conference, when asked why Spain wasn’t following the World Health Organization’s guidelines to conduct widespread testing, Spain’s emergency services director said the country hopes to improve the situation soon.

“This is logistically very complicated and the basic priority has been to attend serious cases and delay tests … we hope to achieve more testing in the next two or three days,” said Simon.

On Sunday, officials confirmed there had been 30,000 tests in Spain. South Korea, which has managed to contain the outbreak, has tested nearly 300,000 people.

“This is just getting started … we have to be aware that this is going to continue for at least the next 10 or 11 days,” Simon added, referencing the growing loads placed on the nation’s hospitals.

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