COVID-19 cases spike again in Italy; Spain’s Palacio de Hielo becomes a temporary morgue


  • After two days of smaller rises, the daily death toll in Italy has again spiked, equating to 743 last Tuesday. The country has now 6,820 deaths as of Wednesday morning, which is the highest number of fatalities, even surpassing China.
  • Three Italian unions are close to reaching an agreement with the government, as they demand for more stringent measures for the factories that are still working and for bank employees who don’t have enough protective gears. 
  • In Spain, Palacio de Hielo, an ice rink located in Madrid, has been turned into a temporary morgue given the influx of cases overwhelming hospitals, funeral homes and crematoriums. 

The daily death toll in Italy has again climbed to 743 last Tuesday, based on the government data. This happened after two days of smaller rises since Sunday, prompting that the worst may not be over yet for the struggling country. 

Globally, Italy has been the worst hit by the fatal coronavirus disease, resulting in more fatalities than China. As of Wednesday morning, the country has 6,820 deaths due to coronavirus infections.

Emergency Commissioner and Civil Protection Chief Angelo Borrelli claimed that newly confirmed cases have slowed down for a third consecutive day. The total number of cases in the country now stands at 69,176, with 8,326 recoveries. 

Also on Wednesday, La Stampa reported that three Italian trade unions are close to reaching a consensus with the government after they warned to hold protests. The people from the engineering, chemical, textile and printing industries said that they would go on strike this week. They demand more stringent measures for the factories that are still working and for bank workers who lack protective gears such as masks, gloves or disinfectant. 

In Spain, authorities documented on Tuesday a record number of 504 COVID-19 fatalities in one day. A total of 2,991 passed away in the second-worst hit country in Europe since the outbreak began. As of counting, Spain had 42,058 identified positive cases of COVID-19 — with the country’s capital Madrid registering the highest number of cases. 

Palacio de Hielo, an ice rink in the city’s capital, has been turned into a temporary morgue given the overwhelming pressure on hospitals, funeral homes and crematoriums around Madrid. Until funeral homes can accommodate to bury or cremate, the bodies will remain to be protected by the freezing temperatures of the ice rink. 

Since mid-March, Spain has implemented national lockdown and imposed restrictions on social gatherings, similar with what have been carried out in other neighboring countries. 

Spain’s health minister Salvador Illa Roca mentioned on Tuesday that the government implemented reinforcements to procure ventilators and expedite production of necessary supplies to fight the disease.

Meanwhile, Germany registered 114 deaths in total, substantially lower than in other European countries since the pandemic began — even though it has one of the biggest number of confirmed cases at 32,991.


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