Spain in black: More dead than in China

The goods queue in India which is in lock down

Coronavirus deaths top 20,000 worldwide, mostly in Europe: AFP tally

India and the United Kingdom imposed lockdowns this week, while France, the third worst-affected European country marks its ninth day under a state of disaster.

Spain, meanwhile, has recorded more than 700 deaths over the past 24 hours, surpassing China in the total death toll, making the country now second to only Italy.

And what doesn't make the figures read any better is the death toll suffered by Spain in the last 24 hours, which at 738 is a record spike for the country.

As of 1100 GMT on Wednesday, the number of deaths around the world from the new coronavirus strain stood at 19,246, with more that 427,000 declared cases registered in 181 countries and territories.

With a death toll of 3,434, Spain now trails only Italy in the number of coronavirus deaths.

In China, where the virus emerged late a year ago, the COVID-19 epidemic has claimed 3,281 lives.

Madrid mayor Jose Luis Martinez Almeida warned the coming days would be "complicated" "psychologically" for the entire city.

Nurses and doctors demanded action on Tuesday after Spain reported its sharpest daily increase in coronavirus cases.

This is likely to fall on deaf ears when the 27 leaders talk on Thursday - with northern members wary of pooling debt with big spenders - but they will sign off on an "unprecedented" recovery plan.

Spain's health system is overwhelmed, with hotels being converted into hospitals and a Madrid ice rink being used as a temporary morgue.

"Many of my colleagues were crying because there were people who are dying alone, without seeing their family for the last time".

A tourist wearing a protective respiratory mask walks outside the Coliseum in downtown Rome on 28 February 2020 amid fears of Covid-19 epidemic.

Jerusalem's Church of the Holy Sepulchre, believed by Christians to house Christ's tomb, was shut as Israel tightened movement restrictions. The Basque Country in the north has also been hit hard.

In all, 112,982 people diagnosed with COVID-19 have recovered from the disease.

But financial markets rose after U.S. leaders agreed a stimulus package worth roughly 10 percent of their economy, an injection Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said represented a "wartime level of investment".

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

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