With 3,434, Spain surpassed China's 3,285 and has more than half of Italy's 6,820. Madrid has had to repurpose the giant ice rink of the Palacio de Hielo as a storage facility for the bodies that city morgues have no capacity to collect and bury.
Similarly, the Spanish army has asked its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation partners for coronavirus testing kits, ventilators and protective gear as part of the alliance's worldwide assistance arrangements, Spanish Armed Forces Chief Miguel Villarroya said.
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.
With the benefit of hindsight - and with alarming echoes of the approach taken in Britain - the Spanish government appears to have been too slow to instigate suppression measures and prevent the exodus of people from the capital Madrid.
On Wednesday the Spanish military pleaded with fellow NATO-member countries for coronavirus testing kits, ventilators, and protective gear. The supplies will be delivered "on a staggered basis, every week, with the first - a major delivery - arriving at the end of this week", he said. "I can not say that we have reached it".
Despite the fact that Spain's population of 47 million has been under an unprecedented lockdown since March 14, the numbers have continued to spiral with more than 47,000 infected by the virus. People are confined to their homes.
"We are approaching the peak", the ministry's emergencies coordinator Fernando Simon said in announcing the figures. The number does not include retirees.
Meanwhile, almost 130 million Americans, or 40 per cent of the population, are under or will soon come under some lockdown order, including in the largest state of California. One of Spain's biggest employers, El Corte Ingles, said it would temporarily lay off 22,000 workers at its department stores.
The health ministry said on Wednesday that the number of reported deaths from the virus rose to 3,434 from 2,696 on Tuesday, the ministry said.