DEATH TOLL OFFICIALLY OVERTAKES CHINA’S
MADRID Spain’s coronavirus death toll jumped by 738 overnight to exceed that of China, where the disease originated, as the country struggled to cope with an accelerating health crisis and another senior government minister was diagnosed with the virus.
With 3,434 fatalities, Spain now has the second-highest number of deaths globally after Italy’s 6,820. Nursing homes have been overwhelmed and a skating rink in Madrid has been turned into a makeshift morgue.
The government said Deputy Prime Minister Carmen Calvo had tested positive for coronavirus — the third cabinet member to be infected — but was doing well.
Broad avenues in Madrid and Barcelona were virtually deserted, as were towns and villages across Spain, while fire engines and tractors sprayed disinfectant to clean streets.
Authorities began to carry out mass testing for public workers in a requisitioned fairground in Madrid, one of the worst-hit regions.
Spanish medical staff, who themselves account for thousands of cases, have taken out lawsuits against the government, complaining of the lack of basic protective equipment like masks, scrubs and gloves.