Spain on Friday recorded 769 deaths due to the coronavirus over the past 24 hours, the highest single-day jump in the country since the outbreak began. In total, 4,858 people have died of the virus, known as COVID-19, with the total number of confirmed cases reaching 64,059, according to the country’s Health Ministry. Spanish biologist José Antonio López Guerrero told Spanish broadcaster La Sexta that he estimates that there are probably 10-15 times more cases than the confirmed figures. On Friday, the region of Madrid announced it would no longer be running COVID-19 tests on patients, who exhibit obvious symptoms like pneumonia. They will be treated as probable cases, but will not contribute to the official count of confirmed cases.
Spain has been suffering from a shortage of medical supplies and test kits. It was revealed on Thursday that the country had purchased a batch of 9,000 rapid tests from a Chinese company and that they did not work effectively. Friday morning, the government announced that it has sent out an urgent request to the international community for more healthcare workers and hopes to bring in 200 doctors and nurses from abroad. On Friday, the government is expected to officially pass legislation extending the country’s state of emergency until April 12. Spain has been on lockdown since March 14.