- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Spain has reported over 3,400 deaths from the new coronavirus, making it the second nation to pass China’s death toll.

The Iberian country reached the sobering milestone Wednesday after reporting 738 cases in the previous 24 hours.

Officials in Madrid turned an ice rink — Palacio de Hielo, or Ice Palace — into a makeshift morgue as a “temporary and extraordinary measure.”

Spain joins Italy in surpassing the roughly 3,300 deaths recorded in China, where the pandemic began.

Italy’s death toll has surged to over 6,800, by far the worst in the world. Military trucks are transporting coffins out of hard-hit Bergamo, and reporters from RAI television are interviewing quarantined Italians by shouting to their balcony windows.

The coronavirus was discovered in Wuhan, China, in December. It has infected over 440,000 people worldwide, upending normal life in much of the developed world and forcing the world’s biggest democracy, India, to impose a three-week lockdown to avoid a health disaster in crowded cities with poor health systems.

Locking down 1.3 billion people isn’t easy, and early reports suggest there is widespread confusion over enforcement and how to get food supplies.

Elsewhere, President Trump spoke to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday to coordinate their approaches to the pandemic and offer support for Mr. Abe’s decision to postpone the Olympics to 2021.

“President Trump praised Japan’s efforts to combat the pandemic and expressed his strong support for the decision to delay the Tokyo Summer Olympic Games,” said White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere. “The two leaders agreed on the need for continued international cooperation to share expertise, restore the strength of the global economy, and assist vulnerable nations in combatting the pandemic.”

In the U.K., meanwhile, Prince Charles tested positive and has mild symptoms “but otherwise remains in good health,” a spokesman for the 71-year-old Prince of Wales said.

His 72-year-old wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, tested negative. They are both self-isolating.

Queen Elizabeth II last saw her son Charles on March 12 but is in good health, according to Buckingham Palace.

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