Spain’s Virus Deaths Surpass 1,700, Cases Over 28,000: Health Ministry

March 22, 2020 Updated: March 22, 2020
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MADRID—Spain’s death toll from the CCP virus soared to 1,720 on Sunday from 1,326 the day before, according to latest data from the Health Ministry.

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 allowed the virus to spread throughout China and create a global pandemic.

The one-day rise in deaths of 394 was higher than the previous day’s increase of 324. Spain is grappling with Europe’s second-worst virus outbreak.

The number of registered cases in the country rose to 28,572 on Sunday from 24,926 in the previous tally announced on Saturday, the official data showed.

Of those, 2,575 people have been cured of the CCP virus, while 1,785 are hospitalized in intensive care units.

Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Saturday that the government would do whatever was needed to combat the pandemic and warned that “the worst is yet to come”.

The Spanish government wants to extend for another 15 days a 15-day state of emergency it imposed on March 14 to try to curb the spread of the CCP virus, multiple Spanish media outlets reported on Sunday.

More Testing

Testing is set to increase—the government announced on Saturday it had acquired more than 640,000 testing devices and said that number could quickly reach a million. Six million more devices could also be on the way, Sanchez said.

Raquel Yotti, director of Carlos III Public Health Institute, earlier said the first devices were being distributed on Saturday and added the government was working on acquiring four robots that could bring the number of daily tests to 80,000. That would be up from 15,000-20,000 a day at the moment.

Robots are helpful as they can conduct automated testing, she said.

Authorities also said they were acquiring more medical equipment, including 700 ventilators. Around 1.3 million protective masks were distributed on Saturday across Spain for healthcare staff and patients.

There is growing concern about overcrowding at hospitals and complaints that facilities could be running short of equipment, such as masks. Some 1,612 patients are currently in intensive care units.

Ricard Ferrer, chairman of Spain’s intensive medicine society, told public television channel TVE that he expected than in eight to 10 weeks around 10,000 patients would be in intensive care units.

Ferrer said Spain had the capacity to deal with that number, but added that he hoped that from Monday the confinement measures would start having an impact on the number of cases.

On Friday evening military personnel moved patients from hospitals in Madrid to others with more space.

The military is also building a giant makeshift hospital at a conference centre in the Spanish capital and will disinfect nursing homes in Madrid, which have seen large numbers of deaths, Prime Minister Sanchez said.

Of the 17 Spanish regions, Madrid has been the worst hit, with 60 percent of the country’s deaths.

Epoch Times staff contributed to this report