World

Spain’s Covid-19 cases cross 1 lakh-mark

Reuters Madrid | Updated on April 01, 2020 Published on April 01, 2020

A deserted view of the Royal Palace in Madrid during a national lockdown to prevent the spread of the coronavirus   -  JAVIER SORIANO

Confirmed coronavirus cases in Spain rose beyond 100,000 as it recorded its biggest one-day death toll from the outbreak on Wednesday, and two planes packed with protective equipment arrived to restock an overloaded public health system.

Barring Italy, the virus has killed more people in Spain than anywhere else, triggering a lockdown that has brought economic activity to a virtual standstill. A survey showed Spain’s manufacturing sector is heading for slump after shrinking in March at its steepest pace since 2013.

A record 864 fatalities on Tuesday took the country’s overall toll to 9,053 as total infections rose to 102,136, health ministry data showed. The ministry said the percentage increase in deaths was lower than in recent days.

Two planes carrying supplies including masks, overalls and anti-bacterial fluids — one from China and one from Turkey — landed on Wednesday at a military airport near Madrid, the Defence Ministry said.

Health Minister Salvador Illa said seven million pieces of protective equipment would be distributed among health workers following these deliveries, bringing the total to 18 million items since the outbreak began.

A cluster of infections has sprung up around Moncloa Palace, the seat of Spain’s government, with three ministers catching the virus as well as Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s wife and father-in-law.

Three members of the five-strong coronavirus task force, which has been updating the nation on the epidemic via daily briefings televised from the palace, have also tested positive.

Published on April 01, 2020

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