(30 Mar 2020) A minute's silence was held at midday in the Spanish capital on Monday to honour those who have died during the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.
As the chimes of twelve o'clock rang out, the first few chords of the sombre Adagio for Strings by Samuel Barber echoed throughout the empty streets.
The flags on the Madrid Regional Government's headquarters in Puerta del Sol square were lowered to half-staff to mark the moment of remembrance.
The normally bustling commercial district around the square was oppressively quiet even as the silence ended.
Army personnel, meanwhile, worked to prepare an emergency field hospital outside the Gregorio Maranon hospital to help deal with those awaiting treatment for the effects of the virus.
A member of staff said that there were 40 sick patients in the hospital's waiting room.
Spain overtook China on Monday in confirmed coronavirus infections as the pandemic stretched scores of Spanish hospitals to their breaking point.
With a population of only 47 million people to China's 1.4 billion, Spain’s tally of infections reached 85,195, an 8% rise from the previous day but down from earlier increases that had rocketed up to 20%.
Spain also reported 812 new deaths, raising its overall confirmed death toll to 7,340.
Experts say those figures - and ones in every other country - are much lower than the actual impact of the pandemic, due to limited testing, counting irregularities and mild cases that have been missed.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks.
For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and could lead to death.
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Apr 4, 2020