Spain death toll hits 9,053 as virus cases pass 100,000
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Spain death toll hits 9,053 as virus cases pass 100,000

Record 864 deaths registered in 24 hours, but officials say rate of new infections is slowing and epidemic could be reaching its peak

The empty access road of an industrial park in Madrid on March 31, 2020, during a national lockdown to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. (Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO / AFP)
The empty access road of an industrial park in Madrid on March 31, 2020, during a national lockdown to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. (Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO / AFP)

MADRID, Spain — The coronavirus death toll in Spain surged over 9,000 on Wednesday after a record 864 deaths in 24 hours, with the number of confirmed cases passing the 100,000 mark, the government said.

Spain has the world’s second-highest death toll after Italy, with the virus so far claiming 9,053 lives and the number of confirmed cases reaching 102,136.

But on a day-to-day basis, the rate of new infections continued its downward trend, showing an increase of just over 8.0 percent, compared with nearly 11 percent on Tuesday, health ministry figures showed.

And the death rate has also slowed, from 27 percent a week ago to 10.5 percent on Wednesday, with officials saying the data appear to show the epidemic is reaching its peak.

But officials have warned that even if the epidemic is peaking, the pressure on the intensive care system would be subject to a lag of at least a week or longer, with hospitals likely to reach crisis point by the end of this week or early next.

Madrid remains the worst-hit region, with 3,865 deaths and nearly 30,000 cases, leaving hospitals and mortuaries overwhelmed.

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