Spain's coronavirus toll recorded a surge Thursday when COVID-19-related deaths surpassed 4,000. Despite fatalities and infections slowed, the pandemic has brought the medical system to the brink of collapse, with Spain also struggling to protect frontline workers and provide supplies for testing and treatment.
Spain currently has the world's second-highest death toll after Italy, and has so far suffered 4,089 deaths after another 655 people succumbed to the virus in the past 24 hours, the Health Ministry said.
"Emergency services are overwhelmed at the moment," Jorge Rivera, spokesman for the main hospital in Leganes on Madrid's southern outskirts told AFP by telephone.
"Practically the entire hospital is dedicated to fighting the coronavirus, both the intensive care unit and the general wards."
In order to ease the congestion in Leganes and at another hospital in Alcala de Henares, east of the city, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said it had set up two field hospitals with 200 beds that would treat the less severe cases.