Spain Announces Highest Daily Death Toll as Abandoned Elderly Found ‘Dead In Their Beds’

March 23, 2020 Updated: March 23, 2020

Spain has registered its highest daily COVID-19 death toll, as the country’s defense minister said emergency crews found elderly people left behind and dead in their beds.

According to a Johns Hopkins University tally, as of Monday at 2:55 pm ET, there were 33,089 confirmed cases of the respiratory disease in Spain, with 2,207 deaths. According to a Reuters tally, 462 people died there in the last 24 hours, the highest daily toll in the second-hardest European country to be hit by the CCP virus, after Italy.

The Epoch Times refers to the novel coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19, as the CCP virus because the Chinese Communist Party’s coverup and mismanagement of the outbreak in Wuhan allowed the virus to spread across China and fan a global pandemic.

Epoch Times Photo
A firefighter disinfects the entrance of a hospital in Burgos, Spain, on March 23, 2020. (Cesar Manso/AFP/Getty Images)

Spain’s Minister of Defense said as numbers of the deadly respiratory disease soar in the country, responders have found elderly people dead in their residences, left behind.

Margarita Robles told broadcaster Telecinco that members of the specialist Military Emergencies Unit had found the corpses in the course of their duties, which include visiting nursing homes.

“During some of its visits, the army has seen some totally abandoned elderly people—even some who were dead in their beds,” Robles told the Ana Rosa TV program, The Guardian reports. She called the discovery an outcome of inhumane treatment that would not go unpunished and urged care staff to take their responsibilities seriously.

The virus has also infected nearly 4,000 Spanish health workers, who make up more than a tenth of known cases in the country.

Epoch Times Photo
Minister of Defense Margarita Robles gives a press conference in Madrid, Spain, on March 23, 2020. (Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)

The rising death count has put pressure on hospitals and funeral homes around Madrid, prompting health authorities to set up a makeshift morgue at the Palacio de Hielo, a large ice rink.

“This is a temporary and extraordinary measure primarily intended to mitigate the pain of victims’ families and the situation in Madrid’s hospitals,” the officials said on Monday, according to The Guardian.

The repurposed skating facility is close to a conference center that has been kitted out with hospital beds and already received 126 of the 1,300 patients it expects in the coming week.

Soldiers were also deployed to Barcelona to help build a temporary homeless shelter at the city’s Fira event center.

The shelter, to be managed by the Red Cross, will allow up to 1,000 homeless people to isolate themselves in hygienic conditions, Barcelona’s Mayor Ada Colau said.

Epoch Times Photo
A health worker in a protective suit pushes a man on a wheelchair into the Burgos Hospital in Spain on March 23, 2020. (Cesar Manso/AFP/Getty Images)

The official in charge of the health emergency, Fernando Simon, said 87 percent of those who had died were aged 70 or older.

On Monday, the head of the World Health Organization called on countries to take strong, coordinated action to stem the accelerating outbreak.

“We are not helpless bystanders,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, noting that it took 67 days to reach 100,000 cases worldwide but just four days to go from 200,000 to 300,000. “We can change the trajectory of this pandemic.”

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