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Spain's Covid-19 death toll increases by 655 in one day

This is a 19% increase on figures released yesterday.

Madrilenians thank health workers with applause from their windows.
Madrilenians thank health workers with applause from their windows.
Image: Juan Carlos Rojas/PA

Updated Thu 11:49 AM

THE DEATH TOLL in Spain has surged to 4,089 after 655 people died of Covid-19 within 24 hours, the health ministry said.

It was a 19% increase on figures released yesterday. The number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 rose to 56,188 in Spain, which has the world’s second highest death toll from the disease after Italy.

The number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 rose to 56,188, the ministry said.

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

But the rise in the number of new deaths was smaller than that recorded yesterday when the figure rose by 738 or 27%.

Health authorities are hoping it will soon become clear whether the lockdown is having the desired effect.

The Madrid region has suffered the brunt of the epidemic with 17,166 infections – just under a third of the total – and 2,090 deaths, or 51 percent of the national figure.

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, whose wife is infected with the virus, has said this is the country’s most difficult moment since its 1936-39 civil war.

“Only the oldest, who knew the hardships of the civil war and its aftermath, can remember collective situations that were harsher than the current one. The other generations in Spain have never, ever had to face as a collective something so hard,” he said when he imposed the state of emergency on 14 March.

Spain’s demographics partly explain why it has been one of the worst-affected nations.

The country has one of the longest life expectancies in Europe and the pandemic has taken a high toll on its large elderly population, who are especially vulnerable to the disease.

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AFP

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