Spain's coronavirus death toll jumps 514 in 24 hours

Epoch Times

Meanwhile, an ice rink in Madrid is to be used as a temporary mortuary for Covid-19 victims, officials said. According to the tally by global news agency, the pandemic has now spread to 195 countries and has infected at least 381,761 people.

Elderly people have been found dead and abandoned in nursing homes in Spain, the country's defence minister has said.

Spain's general prosecutor has confirmed that a full-scale investigation has been launched into the deaths of these vulnerable people.

Spanish army troops disinfecting nursing homes found some residents living in squalor among the infectious bodies of people that authorities suspect have died from the coronavirus.

Spain announced 6,584 new coronavirus infections, bringing the overall total to 39, 673.

According to Spain's defence ministry, the military teams found that most of the staff in several privately run centres had stopped going to work after residents began to fall ill with Covid-19, leaving the sick and dying unattended.

Nursing union SATSE said Madrid's hospitals were on "the verge of collapse" and needed urgent support, while a doctors' union said it had filed a lawsuit demanding protective equipment within 24 hours.

The national health service was "demonstrating a great capacity to respond in an exceptional situation", Health Minister Salvador Illa told a news conference.

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In Spain 2,316 people have died so far from COVID-19, according to real-time data compiled by USA -based Johns Hopkins University, with over 32,200 confirmed cases.

Authorities said on Monday facilities could not cope and agreed to transform the Palacio de Hielo mall, home to an Olympic-sized ice rink, into a morgue.

"We will exercise the most intensive monitoring of these centers", Robles said.

With authorities stepping up testing, the number of people diagnosed with COVID-19 rose by almost 20 percent to 39,673, the health ministry said.

Staff members at these care homes had reportedly abandoned their posts and left residents alone as coronavirus continued to spread.

Simon also said 5,400 health workers have been infected by the coronavirus that is relentlessly marching across the world from China, some 14 % of the country's total cases.

There is hope, however, that the strict lockdown measures imposed on the whole country on March 15 and due to continue until at least April 15 are starting to slow the pace of contagion in the capital, where the last two daily increases in caseload have been below 10 per cent.

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