Spain overtakes China Covid-19 fatality toll with 3,434 deaths

Another epicentre besides Italy.

Belmont Lay| March 26, 12:38 AM

Spain's Covid-19 death toll overtook China's on March 25, rising to 3,434 after 738 people died over the past 24 hours.

Spain entered the 11th day of its lockdown when the total fatalities climbed steadily to surpass China's figures.

The coronavirus has now infected 47,610 people in Spain, the health ministry said.

Spain's armed forces asked NATO for humanitarian assistance the day before as both deaths and infections have continued to increase.

The country has been struggling with a lack of medical supplies for testing and treatment, while front line workers do not have enough protective gear.

NATO said Spain's military had asked for "international assistance", seeking medical supplies to help curb the spread of the virus both in the military and in the civilian population.

The request asked for 450,000 respirators, 500,000 rapid testing kits, 500 ventilators and 1.5 million surgical masks.

On March 24, Spain sought parliamentary approval to extend the state of emergency for an extra two weeks, until April 11, the day before Easter.

The surge in numbers has brought the medical system to the brink of collapse, with more than 5,000 healthcare workers testing positive for the virus, or around 12 per cent of the total.

The Spanish capital of Madrid has also transformed part of a giant exhibition centre into a field hospital with 1,500 beds which could be expanded take in up to 5,500 patients.

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