A member of the Military Emergencies Unit (UME) carries out a general disinfection outside the Alvaro Cunqueiro hospital in Vigo, on March 18, 2020. Image Credit: AFP

Madrid: The number of people infected by COVID-19 in Spain soared past 13,700 on Wednesday with the number of deaths rising to almost 600, government data showed.

"We have 13,716 cases in Spain, which is 2,538 more than yesterday, which implies an increase of 18 per cent," said Fernando Simon, the health ministry's emergencies coordinator.

Over the same 24-hour period, the number of deaths rose to 598, an increase of 107, a government statement showed, giving a higher figure than that initially announced by Simon.

Madrid remains the worst-hit area, accounting for 5,637 cases, or 41 per cent of the total infections in Spain, while the number of deaths there rose to 390 deaths - around two-thirds of the national total.