Spain Hits 13,716 Infections, Many Hospitalized

Commuters travel by train in Barcelona, Spain, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. Spain will mobilize 200 billion euros or the equivalent to one fifth of the country's annual output in loans, credit guarantees and subsidies for workers and vulnerable citizens, Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced Tuesday. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms. For some, it can cause more severe illness, especially in older adults and people with existing health problems. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

MADRID (AP) – Spain on Wednesday announced 2,538 new cases of coronavirus infections, bringing the country’s total to 13,716. Nearly half of those have been hospitalized and 774 are requiring intensive care, according to national health authorities. There are 588 deaths officially recorded, 67 more than on Tuesday.

Spanish regions where clusters have been identified in elderly nursing homes are showing a higher rate of fatalities and required hospitalization, has said the head of the Spanish health emergency center, Fernando Simón. That’s the case of Madrid, where at least 17 people have died only in one nursing home and dozens more have been infected.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has called for political unity to combat the new virus, saying “the worst has yet to come” with many more deaths expected and increased pressure on the country’s strained health service. “The COVID-19 pandemic has overwhelmed everyone’s predictions,” Sánchez told a virtually empty lower house of parliament.

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