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Spain virus death toll soars past 1,000: ministry

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A passenger wearing a face mask as a protective measure looks at two police officers as they use a travelator at the Madrid-Barajas Adolfo Suarez Airport in Barajas on March 20, 2020. – The coronavirus toll in Spain rose to 1,002 today following the deaths of 235 people in the past 24 hours, the health ministry said. The number of cases also soared to 19,980, after another 2,833 infections were confirmed over the same period, the ministry’s emergencies coordinator said. (Photo by JAVIER SORIANO / AFP)

The coronavirus death toll in Spain rose to 1,002 on Friday after another 235 people died in the past 24 hours, the health ministry said.

The number of cases also soared to 19,980 after another 2,833 infections were confirmed over the same period, the ministry’s emergencies coordinator Fernando Simon said.

The figures showed a 16.5 percent hike in the number of infections, which was a drop from the 25-percent increase registered a day earlier, Simon said.

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But he also said the testing laboratories were “overwhelmed” which could skew the numbers.

Of those diagnosed, 52 percent — or 10,542 people — were in hospital with 1,141 being treated in intensive care units, or around 6.0 percent of those infected.

Madrid remains the worst-hit area, accounting for 7,165 cases, or 36 percent of the total infections in Spain, while the number of deaths in the capital rose to 628 — around 63 percent of the national total.

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