Spain’s death toll from coronavirus surged by 514 today, a 23.6 per cent increase which takes the total to 2,696.
The latest figures from the Spanish health ministry mark the country’s largest one-day increase in deaths since the outbreak began.
The overall number of infections also rose sharply, jumping by 6,584 – an increase of nearly 20 per cent – to reach a total 39,673.
The latest jump comes a day after Spanish soldiers were revealed to have found dead and dying people abandoned in multiple care homes, after the army was called in to disinfect the properties over virus fears.
Spain’s defence minister Margarita Robles said the military had found ‘some old people completely abandoned, sometimes even dead in their beds’.
Some people’s bodies were found under the same roof as loved ones who were still alive, Spanish media says.
Reports say that some care home staff had been sent home after virus outbreaks were detected at the properties, making it likely that elderly residents were infected.
Spain’s general prosecutor has launched an investigation as authorities promised to be ‘strict and inflexible’ about safeguarding older people.
Army units disinfect a residential home in Spain after it emerged that dead and abandoned pensioners had been found in properties similar to this one
Spanish army units wearing protective gear work outside a residential home in Andalucia
A sanitary worker cleans the nursing home where a woman died and several residents and care providers have been diagnosed with coronavirus in Grado
Members of Spain’s Military Emergency Unit walk with special equipment to disinfect areas to prevent the spread of coronavirus
A military team enters the Abando Indalecio Prieto Renfe station in Bilbao to disinfect it due to the coronavirus crisis yesterday
The Spanish military were mobilised to focus on elderly care homes towards the end of last week.
State prosecutors have already announced they are investigating a Madrid care home where at least 17 people have died.
Monte Hermoso, near the Spanish capital’s biggest park Casa de Campo, was identified last week as the first care home rocked by mass deaths due to coronavirus.
Regional health chiefs confirmed yesterday that 21 people had died at a care home in Alcoy near Alicante identified as Domus Vi.