Members of the Military Emergencies Unit prepare to carry out a general disinfection at Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat airport in El Prat de Llobregat on March 19, 2020. Photo: AFP/Josep Lago

The coronavirus death toll in Spain rose to 1,002 on Friday after another 235 people died in the past 24 hours, the health ministry said. 

The number of cases also soared to 19,980 after another 2,833 infections were confirmed over the same period, the ministry’s emergencies coordinator Fernando Simon said.

The figures showed a 16.5% hike in the number of infections, which was a drop from the 25% increase registered a day earlier, Simon said. 

But he also said the testing laboratories were “overwhelmed” which could skew the numbers. 

Of those diagnosed, 52% – or 10,542 people – were in hospitals with 1,141 being treated in intensive care units, or about 6.0% of those infected.

Madrid remains the worst-hit area, accounting for 7,165 cases, or 36% of the total infections in Spain, while the number of deaths in the capital rose to 628 about 63% of the national total.

AFP