THE coronavirus pandemic has hit doctors, nurses, and paramedics particularly hard in Spain, with figures showing they make up one in eight of the country’s infections. After Italy, Spain is the country in Europe most severely affected by the crisis.
Confirmed coronavirus cases in Spain jumped 14 percent in the past 24 hours to Monday, with 480 additional deaths bringing the nation’s total to 33,000 cases and 2,200 deaths.
Doctor, nurses, and paramedics count for 3,910 of the cases, or 12 percent, reported a national nursing association, who complained of a lack of protective equipment for health care workers.
“If Spain wants to defeat this pandemic, it is extremely urgent that the nurses fighting Covid-19 are protected,’’ the group, which says it represents 300,000 nurses, wrote in a statement.
For the past nine days, people have headed out onto their balconies or leaned out of their windows every evening at 8 p.m to honour the medical workers at the front line of the fight against the outbreak by cheering, singing and clapping.
Meanwhile, of all those who have died in Spain, around 1,200 have been recorded in the capital Madrid, which has emerged as the epicenter of the country’s outbreak.
Figures from Spain’s Health Ministry offered a glimmer of hope amid the grim news: 3,300 patients have now recovered from the virus.
“The number of daily recorded cases is also decreasing, but we are unsure whether we have hit the peak already,’’ Fernando Simon, head of Spain’s Health Alert and Emergency Coordination Centre (CCAES) told DPA.
“These are decisive days, the expert added and predicted that Spain would reach the peak of its outbreak at some point during the coming week.
“If the measures are applied well it is highly probable that a time will come soon when we begin to de-escalate. That will be a key moment,’’ Simon said.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced on Sunday that the nationwide lockdown affecting the movements of just under 47 million citizens would have to be extended in order to gain control over the outbreak.
Since March 15, authorities in the country have allowed people only to leave their houses in emergencies and to shop for food.
The lockdown was originally set to last 15 days but will be extended until April 11, subject to a parliamentary vote this week. (dpa/NAN)
– Mar. 23, 2020 @ 19:09 GMT |