Spain surpasses China in coronavirus deaths

A coronavirus information board is seen in an almost deserted Alcala street during partial lockdown to combat the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Madrid, Spain March 22, 2020. (REUTERS Photo)

Spain has now the world's second highest tally of coronavirus deaths after a 738 spike was recorded Wednesday, the highest so far in one day. With 3,434, Spain surpassed China's 3,285 and has more than half of Italy's 6,820.

Infections also rose on Wednesday by 20% from a day earlier to 47,610, 's Ministry of Health announced. More than 5,000 people have recovered, the ministry said.

The outbreak has hit Spain and put a tragic strain on its healthcare system, especially in the central region around Madrid, with one third of the positive cases and roughly half of the casualties.

In Spain, where hotels have been converted into makeshift hospitals and an ice rink in Madrid is being used as a morgue, the climbed sharply again Wednesday to surpass even the virus death toll in . In typically bustling Barcelona, figures walking around with blankets, mattresses or tents punctuated the eerie emptiness. Spain's homeless told The Associated Press they feel more abandoned than ever as everyone else hunkers down at home.

"It is as if there has been a nuclear explosion and (people) are all sheltering in the bunker. Only us, the homeless, are left outside," said 36-year-old Gana, who uses only one name.

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