Spain’s COVID-19 cases jump 25 percent in one day

This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. Photo by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/UPI

March 21 (UPI) — New figures released Saturday show that the number of coronavirus cases in Spain jumped 25 percent in 24 hours.

The number of COVID-19 cases increased by almost 5,000 in one day and more than 300 people died from the virus in the same time frame. That brings the total number of cases in Spain to 24,926, with 1,612 people in intensive care and 1,326 deaths, the Spanish government said.

Compared to Friday, the figures represent a 25 percent increase in the number of cases, a 40 percent increase in the number of people in intensive care and a 32 percent jump in the death toll.

In Spain, 2,125 people have recovered, according to the Worldometer.

The country’s hospitals and intensive care units are struggling to cope with the demand.

Despite some Madrid hotels being temporarily converted to hospitals, Madrid is still the hardest hit part of the country with 8,921 cases, 767 people in intensive care and 804 deaths.

Spain is second only to Italy in all of Europe in the number of coronavirus cases.

Italy has the most cases outside of China with over 47,000 cases, according to the John Hopkins global tracker, and Italy has more deaths than China at over 4,000 deaths compared to China’s 3,259.

On Friday alone, 627 deaths were reported in Italy.

A strict nationwide lockdown, including restrictions on travel and closure of most stores, had been in place for 10 days by Friday in Italy, but the number of known coronavirus cases continued to rise about 15 percent every day, overwhelming hospitals.

On Saturday, authorities in Australia, which has 791 cases and seven deaths, ordered people off Sydney’s famous Bondi Beach after thousands defied a ban on large gatherings.

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The beach is still open, but only 500 people are allowed on it, Australian Police Minister David Elliott said after making the decision with “a significant level of disappointment” to remove people from the beach.

Amid coronavirus travel restrictions and growing number of cases and deaths worldwide, the U.S. Air Force has flown dozens of Americans back to the United States who were stranded in Honduras.

The evacuation of 89 Americans from Honduras on Friday night on a pair of charter flights came after the State Department issued a rare Level 4 travel advisory. The advisory warned U.S. citizens not to travel internationally, saying they may have to remain outside the United States for an “indefinite time frame.”

One couple, Beth Rosenzweig and Ray Bahr, in Honduras’ Bay Islands since March 9 for a scuba trip, said they were stranded after the evacuations, along with other Americans.

“Our government has literally stepped back from their responsibilities,” Bahr told The Washington Post, adding that he believes more than a dozen Americans are still stuck at his hotel.

Honduras has 24 cases of the coronavirus and zero deaths, according to the John Hopkins global tracker. The United States has 19,624 cases and 260 deaths.

Columbian President Ivan Duque ordered a 19-day nationwide quarantine starting next week to curb the coronavirus spread and ensure access to food, medical care and other essential services.

Columbia has over 150 cases and has not reported any deaths.

On Saturday, Singapore, which has 385 cases, reported its first two deaths from the virus.

A 75-year-old Singaporean woman and a 64-year-old Indonesian man died Saturday, Singapore’s Health Ministry said in a statement.

The United Arab Emirates, which has 140 cases, also reported its first two deaths.

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