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More than 4,000 people have now died in Spain from coronavirus

Spain’s death-toll from coronavirus has risen to more than 4,000 people while new infections have also increased by almost a fifth.

The country announced that 655 people died from the virus between Wednesday and Thursday, taking the total number from 3,434 to 4,089.

The number of new infections also rose from 47,610 on Wednesday to 56,188 – an increase of 8,578, or around 20 per cent.

Meanwhile harrowing images from a hospital in Albacete, 85 miles west of Valencia, showed patients lining the corridors of a hospital waiting to be treated.

Spain is now the second worst-affected country with coronavirus, having surpassed China’s death toll Wednesday and now lags only behind Italy.  

Thursday’s death figure is dramatic but significantly better than this time yesterday, when the country posted a record-breaking 738 deaths in 24 hours – on par with Italy’s worst days.

Spain confirmed 7,937 new cases of coronavirus Wednesday – an increase of 20 per cent – meaning Thursday’s figures are roughly in line with expectations.

The clip was recorded in the Hospital of Albacete in the central Spanish region of Castilla La Mancha where 88 patients were hospitalised on Tuesday.

In the video, patients in gurneys can be seen lining the corridors of the hospital, with others sitting on chairs. 

The woman recording can be heard saying ‘people are lying on the ground because they said they were exhausted’.

She says that she was sharing the images as a call for the authorities to react to the situation as the patients cannot make their voice heard. 

She says the hospital is a bottleneck for the local health centres, adding that more beds are needed for the huge number of patients being admitted.

The health worker complains that there is not enough protective equipment ‘so we keep putting our health and our loved ones at risk’.

The Integrate Attention Management of Albacete, which belongs to the Health Service of the regional government of Castilla La Mancha said the increase in the number of patients in the hospital had put a lot of pressure on the emergency services.

Reports state new measures were implemented on Tuesday after the video was shared with one floor of the hospital previously dedicated to other patients now being used for those coming from the emergency room.

Another ward from the nearby Perpetuo Socorro Hospital is also available for use.

Local media report that health centres in Albacete are changing and adapting their facilities in order to attend to coronavirus patients.

Despite a national lockdown imposed on March 14, which parliament on Thursday agreed to extend until April 11, both deaths and infections have continued to mount, with officials warning this week would be particularly bad.

Health authorities are hoping it will soon become clear whether the lockdown is having the desired effect.

The Madrid region has suffered the brunt of the epidemic with 17,166 infections – just under a third of the total – and 2,090 deaths, or 51 percent of the national figure.

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, whose wife is infected with the virus, has said this is the country’s most difficult moment since its 1936-39 civil war.

‘Only the oldest, who knew the hardships of the civil war and its aftermath, can remember collective situations that were harsher than the current one. 

‘The other generations in Spain have never, ever had to face as a collective something so hard,’ he said when he imposed the state of emergency on March 14.

Spain’s demographics partly explain why it has been one of the worst-affected nations.

The country has one of the longest life expectancies in Europe and the pandemic has taken a high toll on its large elderly population, who are especially vulnerable to the disease.

Even Queen Letizia has been forced to go into lockdown after coming into contact with a minister who has since tested positive for coronavirus.

Royal chronicler Pilar Eyre wrote in her blog for the magazine ‘Lecturas’ that, despite testing negative for the virus, Letizia has been separated from the rest of the royal household and is only receiving visits from nurses

The move is a precaution after she met Equality Minister Irene Montero on March 6.  

‘Doctor Manuel Martinez Perez forced Letizia to go into lockdown and wear a mask and glove, eating from a tray and only receiving visits from a nurse,’ Eyre wrote. 

Eyre also revealed that the queen had put pressure on King Felipe VI as she thought he should address citizens to show sympathy. 

King Felipe VI addressed Spanish citizens in a public speech on 18th March.

Elderly coronavirus patients came under attack from angry youths who threw stones at a fleet of ambulances moving them to a new home in Spain.  

The Civil Guard convoy was ambushed when it arrived in the town of La Linea de la Concepcion near Gibraltar, bringing 28 patients to a new care home. 

Angry locals obstructed the convoy and stoned the vehicles before throwing Molotov cocktails at police who were guarding the home.  

The hostile reception was in stark contrast to the cheers and applause which had greeted the convoy when it evacuated the sick patients from the town of Alcala del Valle, after a virus outbreak at their previous care home.  

Two men were arrested in La Linea de la Concepcion after parking a car across the road in a bid to stop the pensioners moving in, the Spanish government said. 

Around 50 youths then surrounded their new residence, which is called Tiempo Libre or Free Time. 

The locals also appeared to be breaching coronavirus lockdown rules which ban people from leaving their homes unnecessarily. 

Local reports said the men involved had been sharing WhatsApp messages before the attacks in which they had threatened to set up barricades with burning tyres.   

A National Police spokesman said: ‘Several youths gathered at the entrance to the town and threw stones at the ambulances as well as leaving a vehicle across the road to try to prevent it reaching its destination.

‘Officers arrested the two occupants of the vehicle, two men aged 32 and 35.

‘Once the elderly people were taken into the home, police had to establish a security cordon around the residence as around 50 people outside threatened to cause problems.

 

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