The coronavirus pandemic has hit doctors, nurses and paramedics particularly hard in Spain, with figures showing they make up one in eight of the country’s infections.
After Italy, Spain is the country in Europe most severely affected by the crisis. Confirmed coronavirus cases in Spain jumped 14 per cent in the past 24 hours to Monday, with 480 additional deaths bringing the nation’s total to 33,000 cases and 2,200 deaths.
Doctor, nurses and paramedics count for 3,910 of the cases, or 12 per cent, reported a national nursing association, who complained of a lack of protective equipment for health care workers.
For the past nine days, people have headed out onto their balconies or leaned out of their to windows every evening at 8 pm to honour the medical workers at the front line of the fight against the outbreak by cheering, singing and clapping.
Figures from Spain’s Health Ministry offered a glimmer of hope amid the grim news: 3,300 patients have now recovered from the virus.
“The number of daily recorded cases is also decreasing, but we are unsure whether we have hit the peak already,” Fernando Simon, head of Spain’s Health Alert and Emergency Coordination Centre (CCAES) told dpa.
Since March 15, authorities in the country have allowed people only to leave their houses in emergencies and to shop for food.
The lockdown was originally set to last 15 days but will be extended until April 11, subject to a parliamentary vote this week.