Coronavirus Deaths Top 20000 Worldwide, Mostly in Europe

Nurse demonstrating swab test

The government on Tuesday imposed a nationwide complete lockdown from 21-days with only essential personnel allowed to come out of their homes.

Spain struggled to cope on Wednesday with a mounting coronavirus crisis as its death toll exceeded China's with another 738 lives lost in a single day, and a third senior government minister was diagnosed with the virus.

After Italy, the most affected countries are Spain with 3,434 deaths for 47,610 cases, mainland China with 3,281 deaths (81,218 cases), Iran with 2,077 deaths (27,017 cases), and France with 1,331 deaths (25,233 cases).

The death toll in Italy rose to 7,503, with 74,386 infections, as Spain's death toll surpassed China's. Both European countries are more closely comparable to Hubei province, the area in China where the outbreak was first detected.

Broad avenues in Madrid and Barcelona were virtually deserted, as were towns and villages across Spain, while fire engines and tractors sprayed disinfectant to clean streets.

Germany has the fifth-largest number of infections in the world - well over 30,000 - but officials say relatively wide testing has picked up a lot of mild cases, and the death rate has been low compared with southern Europe.

With hospitals on the brink of collapse, troops have set up a massive field hospital in Madrid's vast IFEMA exhibition center which now has 1,500 beds but which could be expanded to take in up to 5,500 people - making it the largest hospital in Spain.

The call is likely to fall on deaf ears when European Union leaders talk on Thursday - with northern members wary of pooling debt with big spenders - but they will sign off on an "unprecedented" recovery plan.

"Many of my colleagues were crying because there were people who are dying alone, without seeing their family for the last time". The Basque Country in the north has also been hit hard.

The economic damage of the virus - and the lockdowns - could also be devastating, with fears of a worldwide recession worse than the financial meltdown more than a decade ago.

People have been largely confined to their homes since the lockdown began on March 14.

The United States has at least 68,000 cases and 1,027 people have died.



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