Spain has registered a record number of coronavirus deaths in a single-day period with the army now being handed emergency powers to transfer bodies because undertakers are unable to cope.
The number of deaths from Covid-19 in the past 24 hours is 832, it emerged this morning, bringing the nation’s death toll to 5,690 since the outbreak began.
Today’s tally beats the previous Spanish record for a single day of 769 coronavirus which was recorded on Friday.
Spain has registered a record number of coronavirus deaths in a single-day period. Pictured: Members of the Military Emergencies Unit (UME) prepare to carry out a general disinfection
The army now being handed emergency powers to transfer bodies because undertakers can’t cope. Pictured: Priest gives a response in front the coffin of a woman who died of coronavirus disease
The number of deaths from Covid-19 in the past 24 hours is 832, it emerged this morning. Pictured: Field hospital in Madrid
The number of new coronavirus cases registered in the past 24 hours is 8,000.
Spanish Ministry of Health figures show 72,248 people have been infected, 40,630 have needed to be hospitalised, 4,575 people have been admitted to intensive care and 12,285 people have been cured of the disease.
Only Italy’s single-day death tally is worse than Spain’s – with 969 dying there from coronavirus in the 24 hours between Thursday and Friday.
Pictured: Emergency services and the Military using all methods to combat the coronavirus using disinfectant
On Monday a second makeshift morgue is due to start functioning in Madrid after a retail centre ice rink where families paid six pounds a time to skate became its first stop-gap body drop because of the saturation funeral parlours were facing.
The new temporary morgue, known locally as the Donut because of the way it looks from the sky, was built to be Madrid’s Institute of Forensic Medicine but never opened.
The figures comes after the army was given special powers to transfer bodies because of the saturation undertakers are facing.
The number of deaths from Covid-19 in the past 24 hours is 832, it emerged this morning. The grim statistic means 5,690 people with the virus have now died in Spain
The figures comes after the army was given special powers to transfer bodies because of the saturation undertakers are facing. Pictured: Members of the Military Emergencies Unit
The new temporary morgue, known locally as the Donut because of the way it looks from the sky, was built to be Madrid’s Institute of Forensic Medicine but never opened (pictured)
Reaction from Spain’s emergency health director
Spain’s emergency health director Fernando Simon claimed today: ‘The disease is stabilising and we can say some areas of the country may have surpassed the peak, although we can’t say the same at a national level.’
Responding to overnight reports in Spanish media pointing to the likelihood the number of coronavirus deaths was higher than the official figures, he insisted: ‘It’s true we can’t test all those people infected and there may be some that escape us.
‘But Spain is making a great effort to be as transparent as possible.’
He said the key at the moment was making sure intensive care units were not ‘saturated’ and avoiding a hospital collapse in the worst-affected areas.
During questions from the press at a daily coronavirus he declined to specify which areas he believed may have surpassed the peak.
The sharp increase in the number of deaths caused by coronavirus has laid to bodies being left longer than normal.
The government gave soldiers temporary authorisation to fill the void and help alleviate the problem by publishing the new order in an official state bulletin today.
The Ministry of Health-issued order states: ‘The Armed Forces that form part of the operation against Covid-19 are authorised to drive and transfer corpses at the request of the appropriate authorities.’
Health Minister Salvador Illa said: ‘Special attention needs to be paid during this health crisis to the issue of the transfer of corpses, to properly manage the removal and conservation of bodies through accumulation and the absence of available funeral services.’
The task of removing coronavirus victims’ bodies is expected to fall on Spain’s military emergency unit called UME which has been at the forefront of the mass disinfecting of residential elderly care homes and other public areas.
The order is valid until mid-April but are expected to be extended if Spain’s state of emergency goes from four weeks to six.
Spain’s Defence Minister Margarita Robles told a Spanish TV programme earlier this week soldiers tasked with disinfecting the homes as part of the fight against coronavirus were discovering abandoned bodies.
She said: ‘The army, during some visits, has seen elderly people absolutely abandoned, if not dead in their beds.
The sharp increase in the number of deaths caused by coronavirus has laid to bodies being left longer than normal. Pictured: Members of the Emergency Military Unit
Spain is now the fourth worst effected country in the world. Pictured: Medical staff in Madrid transfer a patient in a wheelchair
The latest figures recording the rise in Spain’s coronavirus death toll come after:
- Princess Maria Teresa of Spain has died aged 86 after testing positive for coronavirus.
- Queen Letizia was forced to go into lockdown after coming into contact with a minister who has since tested positive for coronavirus.
- Harrowing video from a hospital in Albacete, 85 miles west of Valencia, showed patients lining the corridors of a hospital waiting to be treated.
- The Spanish government forced to return ‘faulty’ coronavirus testing kits to China that were delivering incorrect test results.
Spanish government forced to return ‘faulty’ coronavirus testing kits to ChinaHer comments have been criticised by senior nursing home workers who say the problem has been that undertakers were saturated by the number of deaths and could not cope.
Spain extended a nationwide lockdown on Thursday by a further 15 days to April 12 and said it was fighting a ‘real war’ over medical supplies to contain the death toll.
Only Italy’s single-day death tally is worse than Spain’s – with 969 dying there from coronavirus in the 24 hours between Thursday and Friday
Health authorities are hoping it will soon become clear whether the lockdown is having the desired effect.
Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, whose wife is infected with the virus, previously 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.’
First royal death from coronavirus: 86-year-old Princess Maria Teresa of Spain’s Bourbon-Parma dynasty dies after testing positive for bug – as nation mourns 5,690 dead
Princess Maria Teresa of Spain has died aged 86 after testing positive for coronavirus.
The princess, of the Bourbon-Parma Royal Family in Spain, passed away yesterday her younger brother, Prince Sixtus Henry of Bourbon-Parma, announced.
She was born in Paris, France on July 28, 1933 to parents, Prince Xavier and Madeleine de Bourbon, who had a total of six children.
Princess Maria Teresa de Bourbon Parme and Prince Jaime de Bourbon Parme arrive for the presentation of her book ion 2014
The royals are members of the House of Bourbon-Parma which is a cadet branch of the Spanish royal family, descended from the French Capetian dynasty.
A cadet branch is created when a young member of a Royal Family, who is not the current heir, is granted lands and titles of his own.
Members of the family once ruled as King of Etruria and as Duke of Parma and Piacenza, Guastalla, and Lucca until 1859.
The news comes after it was revealed Prince Charles, 71, has a ‘mild’ form of the illness.
He is on the Balmoral estate with his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, who has tested negative and is without any symptoms of the virus, which has killed 435 and infected 8,200 more in the UK so far.
Maria Teresa Of Bourbon Parma Wearing A Jacques Heim Evening Dress in her younger years
Head of elite Spanish police unit created to fight terrorism has died of coronavirus
The head of an elite Spanish police unit created to fight ETA terrorism has died of coronavirus.
Jesus Gayoso Rey, 48, lost his fight for life on Friday at a hospital in the northern Spanish city of Logrono.
He was head of the Civil Guard’s Rapid Action Group, which has become heavily involved in recent years in the fight against radical Islamic terrorism.
Jesus Gayoso Rey, 48, (pictured) lost his fight for life on Friday at a hospital in the northern Spanish city of Logrono
Members of the special forces unit, which has also undertaken international missions in places like Kosovo and Haiti, arrested British fugitive Daniel Dobbs in January at his hideaway in Malaga.
The 32-year-old had gone missing from a South Yorkshire prison in November 2018 after being sentenced to 13-and-a-half years in jail in January 2014 for trafficking heroin and amphetamines.
He was held during a dawn raid linked to an operation against an illegal subterranean Costa del Sol cigarette factory he was suspected of running with another Brit.
Civil Guards were joined last night night by National Police officers and emergency services workers in an emotional tribute outside the force’s HQ in Logrono
Mr Gayoso, who had no known underlying health issues, had joined the unit he headed nearly 25 years ago.
The married dad-of-two started to feel unwell on March 8 and thought he had common flu. He is said to have been sent home after going to hospital four days later before being admitted to San Pedro Hospital in Logrono on March 17 in a serious condition.
He became the fourth Civil Guard to die of Covid-19. Nearly 800 Spanish police officers have died after testing positive for the virus.
After a round of applause they sang a hymn used to honour Armed Forces members who lose their lives in service. The Christian song translates in English as ‘Death Is Not The End’
The Civil Guard said in a tweet: ‘We regretfully confirm the death of Jesus, head of the force’s Rapid Action Group, victim of Covid-19.
‘Our hearts are with his relatives, friends and colleagues. Rest in peace brother. We will never forget your example.’
Civil Guards were joined last night night by National Police officers and emergency services workers in an emotional tribute outside the force’s HQ in Logrono.
After a round of applause they sang a hymn used to honour Armed Forces members who lose their lives in service. The Christian song translates in English as ‘Death Is Not The End.’
The married dad-of-two (pictured) became the fourth Civil Guard to die of Covid-19. Nearly 800 Spanish police officers have died after testing positive for the virus
Members of Mr Gayoso’s unit were involved in making sure coronavirus sufferers in a northern Spanish town which was one of the first to be hit by a mass outbreak earlier this month, obeyed quarantine orders.
More than 30 people tested positive for the virus in Haro, which has a population of just over 12,000, after attending a gypsy funeral in the Basque capital Vitoria.
Police sources said he started to display the tell-tale symptoms of coronavirus before his officers were sent to Haro in hazmat suits. He is believed to have caught it during a work trip to Belgium at the start of the month.