Coronavirus: More than three billion told to stay home worldwide

Beds for COVID-19 patients are set up inside the Republica de los Ninos amusement park in La Plata Argentina

Beds for COVID-19 patients are set up inside the Republica de los Ninos amusement park in La Plata Argentina

Hotels across the country are being converted into hospitals and the Palacio de Hielo ice rink in Madrid has been temporarily turned into a makeshift morgue to store bodies until they can be buried or cremated.

Police stood guard on Wednesday outside the rink, normally a popular venue for children's birthday parties, as hearses arrived at the building.

The delay in instituting a full lockdown amid clement Spring weather allowed many Madrid dwellers and their school-less children to head for second homes and other rural options around the country.

The Director of the Health Alerts Centre, Fernando Simón, has stressed that because there is a 7 to 10 day delay between when a person is infected and the coronavirus being confirmed, the data can not be precise. Many of those occurred at a single nursing home in the area early this month, one of the first recorded cases of community spread in the country.

He said Spain made the request to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation which would pass it on to the member-states' armies.

The government had ordered 432 million euros ($467 million) worth of masks, gloves, testing kits and ventilators to be delivered over the next eight weeks, with the first large batch expected this week, Health Minister Salvador Illa said.

He also said Spain would continue producing its own materials on a national level. "I can not say that we have reached it".

Last Sunday, President Sanchez announced that the original 15-day lockdown period would be extended until April 11. Schools, bars, restaurants and most shops are shuttered. The number of cases rose exponentially after that as it took only four days to reach from 2 to 3 lakh and three days to add another one lakh cases as it crossed 4-lakh mark on Tuesday.

"If we are not already at the peak, we are very close", the head of Spain's health emergency coordination center, Fernando Simón, said. The number does not include retirees.

People have been largely confined to their homes since the lockdown began on March 14.

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