Italy reported 683 new deaths in the coronavirus pandemic, bringing its total to 7,503.
Spain, meanwhile, recorded more than 700 deaths over the past 24 hours – surpassing China in the global death toll – making the country now second to only Italy.
By comparison, China has officially reported 3,285 deaths, while Italy – the worst affected country – has 6,820.
Madrid is the country’s worst affected region but Catalonia in the north-east has seen a rapid increase in cases.
Spain’s Deputy Prime Minister Carmen Calvo has tested positive for the virus, the government says. She was admitted to hospital on Sunday with respiratory symptoms.
More than 113,000 of the 454,000 people diagnosed with the disease have recovered, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University. About 20,500 people worldwide have died from COVID-19.
On Wednesday the UN said the virus was “threatening the whole of humanity” as it launched a $2bn (£1.7bn) appeal for the world’s poorest people.
“Global action and solidarity are crucial. Individual country responses are not going to be enough,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres said.