The Spanish corona virus death toll exceeded that in China on Wednesday, rising to 3,434 after 738 deaths in the past 24 hours, the government said.
Worldwide, only Italy has a higher death toll than Spain. In China, where the virus appeared at the end of last year, 3,281 people died.
The increasing number of deaths came when Spain entered an unprecedented blockade on the 11th day to stem the COVID-19 epidemic that has now infected 47,610 people, the Ministry of Health said.
As the authorities stepped up testing, the number of cases increased 20 percent compared to Tuesday, while the death toll increased 27 percent over the same period.
Despite the national blockade imposed on March 14, which is due to be extended until April 11, both deaths and infections have continued to increase, with officials warning that this week would be particularly bad.
"We are nearing the climax," said Ministry's emergency coordinator Fernando Simon when the numbers were released.
The health authorities hope that it will soon become clear whether the blocking has the desired effect.
The Madrid region suffered the brunt of the epidemic with 14,597 infections – just under a third of the total – and 1,825 deaths or 53 percent of the national number.
As the hospitals are on the brink of collapse, troops have set up a huge field hospital in Madrid's large IFEMA exhibition center, which currently has 1,500 beds, but could be expanded to accommodate up to 5,500 people. It is the largest hospital in Spain.
And since the city's funeral services are overwhelmed, officials have commanded the Palacio de Hielo ice rink as a temporary mortuary.
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