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Spain overtakes Italy in coronavirus cases, mortality rate slows down



MADRID (Reuters) – Spain overtook Italy for the first time on Friday due to the number of confirmed coronavirus cases, but the death toll overnight fell compared to the previous day, giving a little glimmer of hope.

A Spanish police officer wears two protective masks during the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Ronda, southern Spain, on April 3, 2020. REUTERS / Jon Nazca

With a total of 117,710 confirmed cases, Spain is now in second place in the number of infections, only in the USA, whose population is about seven times as large. The death toll in Spain is now 10,935, second only to Italy’s 13,915.

Even more hopefully, Friday was the first time in more than a week that the number of deaths from the previous day had dropped to 932 from 950.

“The number of cases is increasing by 7% today, which confirms the observed reduction trend,” said Maria Jose Rallo, deputy head of the emergency. That’s a 20% drop a week ago.

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has imposed one of the strictest barriers in Europe, so that only workers in key areas such as health can travel to and from work. Restaurants, bars and shops are closed and social gatherings are prohibited.

The Spaniards have been restricted to their homeland since March 14th. The initial 15-day period has now been extended to April 12. The government is now considering a second extension of the ban.

The State Department said on Friday that it had launched an online platform called Aloja that Spanish people living abroad could use to contact stranded Spanish travelers and offer them accommodation.

“We are at maximum stress”

The block has frozen the business.

The logistics center of the fashion giant Inditex in Spain – the nerve center of its global retail empire – works with minimal activity.

Spain’s largest bank Santander (SAN.MC) said Friday it had increased its credit capacity to $ 90 billion ($ 97 billion) after dropping its dividend. Banks were flooded with people looking for mortgage leave.

The funeral burials were overwhelmed and prompted the regional authorities to set up a third improvised facility on an ice rink near Madrid on Friday to adapt the 1,800-square-meter area to house corpses.

Soldiers and firefighters set up an emergency hospital in a sports center in the Catalan city of Sabadell on Friday. The government has set up more than a dozen of these field hospitals nationwide to treat patients.

“We are at the limit, we are under maximum stress,” said the Catalan head of government Quim Torra in an interview with Reuters. After Madrid, the region is the most populous and the second worst affected region in Spain.

More than 4,400 people have died in the Madrid region, as data on Friday showed. The dead include people in the region’s overwhelmed nursing homes, where around 50,000 people live in the most vulnerable age group [L8N2BR4KH]

($ 1 = 0.9269 euros)

Additional reporting by Joan Faus, Jesus Aguado and Jessica Jones; Edited by Andrew Cawthorne, Gareth Jones and Andrew Heavens

Our standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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