Spain Warns The ‘Worst Is Yet To Come’ As Coronavirus Deaths Surpass 1,300

The Spanish government said on Saturday it would do whatever was needed to combat the coronavirus pandemic and warned that “the worst is yet to come” after the national toll surpassed 1,300 deaths and reached close to 25,000 cases.

Spain Warns The ‘Worst Is Yet To Come’ As Coronavirus Deaths Surpass 1,300 1

The second-worst outbreak in Europe showed no sign of slowing as the death toll jumped by more than 300 from the previous day. Intensive care units are filling up in some hospitals.

“We have yet to receive the impact of the strongest, most damaging wave, which will test our material and moral capacities to the limit, as well as our spirit as a society,” Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez told a news briefing.

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Sanchez said Spain had not lived through such a dramatic situation since its 1936-39 civil war, in which around half a million people died. Drawing parallels to a war economy, he said his government was working on plans to produce in Spain the equipment needed to battle coronavirus, such as masks.

His leftist government a week ago declared a 15-day state of emergency nationwide barring people from all but essential outings. Sanchez praised the “exemplary” response and said he had no plans to strengthen the restrictions, which he called the toughest in Europe.

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The prime minister also made no mention of extending the state of emergency, though he warned of tough weeks ahead.

Spain’s death toll jumped to 1,326 from 1,002 the day before, according to Health Ministry data released on Saturday. The number of cases rose to 24,926 from 19,980.

The death rate from the current data is around 5%, Maria Jose Sierra, a top official at Spain’s health emergency committee, said at an earlier briefing. But she suggested the real rate is lower as testing has mostly been conducted on people in hospital, meaning there are likely far more cases.

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Reuters