Deputy PM of Spain Carmen Calvo tests positive for coronavirus. Calvo tested positive for the virus in a test performed on Tuesday after previously testing negative, but one more test was performed because the last one proved inconclusive, the government said in a statement.It added that Calvo, who was born in 1957, was doing well and receiving medical treatment.
Spain earlier on the same day became the second country after Italy to register more deaths from coronavirus than China, official figures showed.Spain confirmed 3,434 virus-related deaths, according to figures released by the country’s Health Ministry on Wednesday. In China, where the coronavirus originated, the officially confirmed death toll stands at 3,150. The Spanish capital Madrid remained the epicenter of the country’s outbreak, with the city’s death toll soaring by 300 within the past day to 1,800, more than half the country’s total.
The total number of infections rose to 47,600 on Wednesday, an increase of 8,000 within the past 24 hours. Authorities hope that Spain will reach the peak of the outbreak this week and that strict lockdown measures to contain its spread will begin to be reflected in the numbers. Fernando Simon, head of Spain’s Health Alert and Emergency Coordination Centre (CCAES), said the numbers showed Spain was close to the peak, “The number of deaths is rising, but the percentage increase has stabilized,” he told dpa.
Spain bought protective equipment including 550 million masks, 5.5 million rapid testing kits, 11 million protective gloves and 950 respirators from China, for a total of 432 million euros ($467 million), Health Minister Salvador Illa said Wednesday in Madrid. Deliveries are expected to start this week. He noted that these are important purchases but said that this was still not enough to address the shortage, commenting specifically on the respirators.
Illa said that attempts would also be made to procure goods in other countries. “It’s crucial that we boost production here in Spain, too,” he added. Many hospitals, especially those in Madrid, are already at their limit, causing authorities to requisition the city’s Ifema exhibition center for use as a makeshift field hospital. The high death rate has forced the city to use its ice rink as an overflow morgue.