Italy passes Chinese virus infection total while deaths in Spain surge

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Deaths from coronavirus have surged in Spain, while Italy has passed Chinese infection numbers, as Covid-19 continued to grip Europe.

Spain’s Health Ministry reported another 7,800 infections overnight for a total of 64,059. Deaths in Spain climbed by 769 to 4,858 — the world’s second highest total after Italy’s 9,134.

Spain’s severely strained health service has 9,444 workers infected with Covid-19, a figure Amnesty International said is the highest among countries affected by the outbreak. The number is nearly 15% of Spain’s total cases.

A Barcelona cemetery
A Barcelona cemetery (Emilio Morenatti/AP)

“It’s true that we have more deaths than what we saw yesterday, but it’s also true that the percentage increase today is similar to that of he past three days and it appears there is a stabilisation,” said Fernando Simon, the head of the health emergency co-ordination centre.

The worldwide death toll climbed to more than 25,000, according to Johns Hopkins University, but more than 127,000 people have recovered, about half in China.

Medical staff in Brescia, Italy
Medical staff in Brescia, Italy (Luca Bruno/AP)

Italian epidemiologists warned that the country’s numbers are likely to be much higher than reported — perhaps by five times — although two weeks into a nationwide lockdown the daily increase seems to be slowing, at least in northern Italy.

“We must stop believing that this only affects the elderly,” said the sister. “No one is invincible against this mutant virus.”

France has reported more than 1,600 deaths and 29,000 infections, and on Friday extended its nationwide confinement measures for another two weeks until April 15.

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