Spain suf­fers new spike in death toll

San Francisco Chronicle - - CORONAVIRU­S PANDEMIC -

The death toll shot up in Spain by more than 700 for a to­tal of over 3,400, eclips­ing the num­ber of fatal­i­ties in China, where the out­break be­gan. Spain is now sec­ond only to Italy in the num­ber of dead.

The coun­try’s hos­pi­tals are groan­ing un­der the weight of the pan­demic: Video and pho­tos from two hos­pi­tals in the Span­ish cap­i­tal showed pa­tients, many hooked up to oxy­gen tanks, crowd­ing cor­ri­dors and emer­gency rooms. At the 12 de Oc­tubre Univer­sity Hospi­tal, pa­tients could be seen on the floor as they waited for a bed. The hospi­tal says the pa­tients have since been ac­com­mo­dated else­where.

On Wed­nes­day, the num­ber of med­i­cal per­son­nel in­fected was nearly 6,500 na­tion­ally, health au­thor­i­ties said, rep­re­sent­ing 13.6% of the coun­try’s 47,600 to­tal cases and about 1% of the health sys­tem’s work­force. At least three health­care work­ers have died.

Span­ish me­dia re­ported that 23 res­i­dents of a Madrid re­tire­ment home died from COVID­19 or symp­toms re­lated to the virus. The home’s man­age­ment said it had been plead­ing for more staff and sup­plies, in­clud­ing virus tests, af­ter 55 of its work­ers had been forced to take med­i­cal leave.

Pau Bar­rena / AFP / Getty Images

A Span­ish sol­dier stands next to beds set up at a tem­po­rary hospi­tal for vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple in Barcelona. The coun­try’s hos­pi­tals are groan­ing un­der the weight of the pan­demic.

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