Spain Reports 655 Deaths in Past 24 hours, Fewer Than Wednesday

Rodrigo Orihuela

(Bloomberg) -- Spain saw 655 people die from the coronavirus over the past 24 hours as the pace of fatalities slowed.

The total number of deaths rose to 4,089 and the number of confirmed cases climbed to 56,188 from 47,610 a day earlier, the Health Ministry said Thursday.

The Spanish death toll surpassed the Chinese total on Wednesday and the country also saw the daily death toll overtake Italy for the first time. As the pandemic spirals, the country’s health care system is stretched to breaking point and the government has had to turn to make-shift hospitals to try to cope with the volume of patients.

A countrywide lockdown started March 14 and the government had warned this week would be harsh. Earlier on Thursday, the Spanish Parliament backed a request by Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez to extend a state of emergency through April 11.

The epidemic has reached the highest echelons of government. Deputy Prime Minister Carmen Calvo was hospitalized with the disease earlier this week while two other ministers, the regional president of Madrid and Sanchez’s wife have all tested positive.

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