Spanish coronavirus death toll rises by 812 in 24 hours as number of infections overtakes China

A further 812 people who tested positive for coronavirus have died in Spain, Spanish media has reported.

A total of 7,340 people have now died in the country and 85,195 have been infected, surpassing China's 82,198, a rise of 8% from the previous day.

Nearly 15% of all those infected in Spain, almost 13,000 people, are health care workers.

Hotels have been converted into makeshift hospitals, while a Madrid ice rink has been turned into a temporary morgue as the country battles to bury its dead.

The most recent daily death toll is down on the previous 24 hours when Spain saw its worse day for coronavirus deaths since the outbreak began with 838 fatalities.

Spain has suffered the second-highest death count in the world behind Italy which has recorded 10,779 deaths.

A woman looks out of her window in Barcelona. Credit: AP

The death toll in Spain has doubled in a week, and the number of deaths in Spain rose from 100 to 1,000 faster than in Italy.

Spain's two-week lockdown under a national state of emergency was tightened on Monday and now only workers commuting to work related to health care and food production and distribution are allowed to travel.

Despite the rising figures, the rate of infections is slowly falling.

Salvador Illa, Spanish Health Minister said on Monday that the number of cases had steadily fallen since last Wednesday.

"That allows us to confirm that if we are not already, and I say this with all the caution, at the peak – we are very near," he said.

Both Spain and Italy have demanded more European help as the continent faces its worst crisis since the Second World War.

The two European nations have more than half the world's 34,000 deaths from the virus that has upended the lives of billions of people and devastated world economies.

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