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the coronavirus crisis

Spain reports more than 700 new coronavirus fatalities as death toll surpasses China

Spain is now the country with the second highest number of deaths from the COVID-19 coronavirus, surpassing China.

After a spike of more than 700 fatalities from the novel coronavirus, Spain's death toll on Wednesday surpassed 3,400, The Associated Press reports. This overtakes China's current death toll of 3,285 and puts Spain second behind Italy in coronavirus deaths.

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

According to The Washington Post, the 700 new coronavirus deaths from Spain is the country's biggest increase since the beginning of the outbreak.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez on Sunday the country's state of emergency will be extended for another 15 days amid the increasing number of deaths, CNN reports.

"There are hard days ahead," he said over the weekend. "We have to get ready from a physiological and emotional standpoint. We have to get to the end of next week strong, very strong. The risk is everywhere."

The Wall Street Journal reports that "over the last two weeks, Spain has suffered one of the fastest-growing outbreaks of the coronavirus in the world, due to what experts say is a combination of the government's slow response to the pandemic, Spaniards' active nightlife and resistance to government-ordered lockdowns."