Spain has seen its number of deaths surge to 3,434, with 738 of those people dying within 24 hours, surpassing the number of deaths recorded in China. Guillen del Barrio, A&E nurse at La Paz University Hospital in Madrid, said: "It is really hard, we had feverish people for many hours in the waiting room. Many of my colleagues were crying because there were people who were dying alone, without seeing their family for the last time."
In response to the crisis in Spain, Spanish insurer MAPFRE has announced that it will be donating €5 million to the Spanish National Research Council, to accelerate its investigation into the pandemic. The donation is intended to drive new lines of research, including the development of a vaccine.
“This donation represents a considerable boost for [our] teams,” said Rosa Menéndez, President of the Council. “We are already working to unravel the keys to the new coronavirus, but we are also launching more than 50 co-ordinated projects to jointly address the challenge posed by the pandemic. These are projects that range from biotechnology and diagnostic nanosensors to mathematical models to understand the spread of the disease. MAPFRE’s support will allow us to accelerate these projects.”
The rest of the world
As of Thursday morning, 478,331 Covid-19 cases have been confirmed, with the number of deaths at 21,524 worldwide.
India’s lockdown is now the biggest in the world, with Russia following suit. Russia’s President Vladimir Putin declared next week a public holiday and has postponed a public vote on constitutional reforms.
Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary-General, launched an appeal for US$2 billion to help the world’s poor. "Covid-19 is threatening the whole of humanity – and the whole of humanity must fight back,” he said.
Washington vowed to spend $2 trillion to fend off a US economic collapse, which saw markets rebound.
Coronavirus cases are also spreading in the Middle East, where Iran's death toll topped 2,000 on Wednesday, and in Africa, where Mali joined all seven of its neighbours in declaring its first cases.