Emergency vehicles, including ambulances, were seen outside the IFEMA exhibition centre in Madrid, which was converted into a field hospital to host coronavirus patients, on Thursday, as the country's overall number of COVID-19 has now surpassed China, where the outbreak began.

The provisional centre, which normally hosts events such as the Madrid Fashion Week, has been equipped with 1,300 hospital beds and can house up to 96 intensive care patients. The area, which was set up with the support of the Military Emergencies Unit, could be enlarged up until to 5,500 beds if needed.

On Wednesday, Spain's death toll from COVID-19 has reached a total of 3,434 fatalities after 738 deaths in just 24 hours. The country is the second worst-hit in Europe after Italy with more than 45,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus. The worst affected region is the area of Madrid, with almost 15,000 confirmed cases.

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Associated Press 11 May 2020 11:44 CEST

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