Spain overtakes Italy in number of COVID-19 cases
Madrid, April 5, 2020
The overall number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Spain has increased to 126,168, overtaking Italy's tally of 124,632, making it the worst-affected European nation in terms of infections.
The tally placed Spain first in Europe and second only to the US worldwide in terms of confirmed cases. The US was currently the highest with a total of 312,076 cases, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at the Washington-based Johns Hopkins University.
The CSSE update showed that Italy had the highest number of deaths in the world at 15,362, followed by Spain in the second place with 11,947 fatalities.
Despite the grim figures, a glimmer of hope seems to appear in Europe's battle against the virus, with some positive changes occurring.
Spain reported 809 new deaths between Friday and Saturday, 123 fewer than the 932 deaths registered between Thursday and Friday.
The single-day increase of 7,026 new cases on Saturday was also down from the 7,472 recorded on Friday.
Italy also reported its first decline in the number of patients in intensive care units.
"The number of patients in intensive care has decreased by 74 individuals," Civil Protection Department Chief Angelo Borrelli said on Saturday.
"It is the first negative number since we began managing the emergency," he added.
Saturday's death toll of 681 also continued the declining trend.
"The number of daily fatalities has constantly been decreasing" from a high of 969 deaths on March 27, Borrelli pointed out.
France, despite a spike in death toll because of the inclusion of the deaths linked to COVID-19 in nursing homes, started to see a slowdown in the number of patients requiring life support.
It dropped to 2.6 per cent on Saturday from 4 per cent on Friday.
COVID-19 cases in Portugal on Saturday passed the 10,000 mark, reaching 10,524. But the number of infected people appears to be decreasing in recent days, according to the country's public health experts.