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COVID-19: Spain’s daily death toll climbs to nearly 400

Total deaths reach 1,720 – worse than Iran – as premier warns country 'worst is yet to come'

Alyssa McMurtry   | 22.03.2020
COVID-19: Spain’s daily death toll climbs to nearly 400

OVIEDO, Spain

Coronavirus continues to devastate Spain, with the official death toll surging by nearly 400 on Sunday, according to new figures.

In total, 1,720 people have lost their lives to the illness so far and 28,572 cases have been confirmed in the country. A total of 394 new deaths and 2,646 confirmed cases were reported in the last 24 hours.

The new numbers suggest that Spain has become harder hit by the virus than Iran, where the latest official death count is 1,556 and the number of confirmed cases is 20,610.

The steep climb in deaths suggests that Spain, like Italy, will soon surpass China in terms of fatalities.

In an hour-long televised address to the nation on Saturday night, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez warned that the number of infections is set to rise in the coming days.

“The worst is yet to come, and it is pushing our capacities to the limit,” he said.

Spain has been on lockdown for eight days, and local media report that Sanchez will soon present a bill to Parliament to extend the containment measures until at least April 12.

The lockdown in Spain makes it illegal to leave your home for non-essential purposes. Going for leisurely walks or runs is not permitted anywhere in the country.

Sanchez said that Spain has taken some of the “toughest measures in the world” to control the virus but if the contagion is not controlled, the next step would be to suspend all non-essential production.

Hospitals across the country, especially in Madrid, the hardest-hit area, have been reporting shortages of protective materials, hospital beds, intensive care units, and ventilators.

Military units have set up emergency hospital wards across the country and the government has said it is working to “guarantee” the supply of all necessary material.

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