Coronavirus Deaths Surge In Spain, Topping Toll In China

Nearly 14 percent of coronavirus cases in the country involve front-line health care workers. Only Italy tops Spain in number of deaths.

Coronavirus Deaths Surge In Spain, Topping Toll In China
Manu Fernandez / AP

Spain has surpassed China in total deaths from the coronavirus. And a locked down populace cheers health care workers from balconies, as hospital employees hail colleagues facing heightened dangers.

By Wednesday evening, Spain was nearing 50,000 coronavirus cases and 3,500 deaths, with more than 700 fatalities within 24 hours. 

Spanish residents, locked down since March 13, have been ordered to shelter at home for at least two more weeks. The prime minister calls that a "drastic" - and needed - measure.


I know. I'm very conscious, that it is a drastic measure, one of the most drastic that has been adopted by our  countries. I know it is very uncomfortable for Spanish citizens to be confined for 15 more days, until April 11."

An ice rink in Madrid has been converted to a morgue. Meanwhile, Spanish authorities are spending nearly $500 million for medical supplies from China, including ventilators, masks and more than five million coronavirus test kits.

Front-line medical workers are enduring severe impacts. Nearly 6,600 have been infected, almost 14 percent of Spain's coronavirus cases.

At Madrid's Hospital de La Paz, 14 floors and an exterior tent are occupied by patients with the virus. "We are collapsing," said a nurse there. "We need more workers."

Contains footage from CNN.