Spain announces record-high coronavirus death toll, but rate falls

More than 800 people died of coronavirus in Spain Saturday.
More than 800 people died of coronavirus in Spain Saturday.

Spain’s coronavirus death toll continues to skyrocket as the total soared past 6,500 Sunday.

The Spanish Health Ministry announced Sunday morning that 838 people had died in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 6,528.

That’s the highest one-day total since the outbreak began, but officials see a glimmer of hope as the rate of daily increase fell to 14%, the lowest since March 14; Saturday’s death toll represented a 17% increase.

The number of cases rose by about 6,500 to almost 79,000 people, fourth behind the United States, China and Italy.

“It seems the evolution has stabilized and could even be starting to fall, but the fundamental problem now is to ensure that our ICUs aren’t saturated,” Health Ministry spokesman Fernando Simon said at a press conference.

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced late Saturday that all non-essential workers must stay home for the next two weeks, from March 30 to April 9, as part of a nationwide lockdown that hopes to stem the spread of coronavirus.

In Madrid, the hardest hit area in Spain, government officials are working to build a second makeshift morgue to handle the dead. An ice skating rink at the Ice Palace was already converted last week.

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