Spain, which is one of the worst-hit countries, reported 6,549 new confirmed Coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, taking the total in the country to nearly 85,195. According to international media reports, the health ministry, however, said that the number of new cases is considerably lower than the 8,189 new cases registered over the weekend. The deadly virus has also claimed more than 7,340 lives in the country.
As per reports, Madrid and Catalan Region are the worst affected parts in Spain as Madrid reported more than 24,000 cases and nearly 3,392 death and Catalan, on the other hand, recorded more than 16,000 cases and almost 1,410 deaths. In a bid to contain the spread of Coronavirus outbreak, the Spanish government also announced a lockdown and announced that all, except ‘essential’ economic activity, to be closed until April 9.
Meanwhile, amid a massive shortage of protective gears for medical professionals and staff, Spain signed a multi-million euro contract with China to procure medical supplies. Spanish Health Minister Salvador Illa on March 25 said that the government signed a contract with China worth 432 million euros to purchase 550 million masks, 5.5 million rapid test kits, 950 respirators and 11 million pairs of gloves.
Spain has already surpassed China’s death toll due to the Coronavirus pandemic and the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) has become a nightmare for the medical staff.
"We have secured entire production chains (in China) which will be working solely for the Spanish government," said Illa during a televised news conference.
The surge in the number of confirmed cases has brought Spain’s highly appreciated universal health care system to its knees. More than 5,400 healthcare workers alone, around 12 per cent of the overall cases in Spain, have been infected by the novel coronavirus due to the lack of sufficient protective equipment.
The Health Minister said that the supplies will be delivered on a staggered basis every week. Spain has also sought help from NATO for humanitarian assistance to fight the novel Coronavirus.