In the awful league table that charts the spread of coronavirus deaths and infects, Spain has moved into second place, overtaking China and behind only Italy.
It is obviously no game, let alone a race, but these comparative numbers are a way to see how far down the line each country now is, and to try and gauge if – or when – they have turned a corner.
Slightly better news from Italy. Spain getting much worse, and a sharp deterioration in the Netherlands.
Spain has announced 738 new deaths taking the total to 3,434, ahead of China and behind only Italy.
Worse still, the have seen 7,973 new infections in the last 24 hours.
Not even Italy has seen a day like that for new infections.
The lockdown came slightly later that Italy’s, so they are clinging to the hope that an improvement is only a matter of time.
Italy’s numbers are down slightly, with 683 deaths and 5,210 new infections.
Marginally better news, if you can ever describe almost 700 deaths that way.
But there was a substantial fall in the province of Lombardy which has been the epicentre of the pandemic there – 296 deaths on Wednesday down from 402 yesterday.
The lockdown went into place two days earlier in Lombardy which may be significant, but as ever it is really important not to read too much into one day’s figures.
The man leading the Italian battle against the virus, Angelo Borrelli, went down with “fever-like symptoms” on Wednesday.
No word yet on his test results.
The Netherlands has seen a big jump in deaths, with 80 reported in the last 24 hours.
I emphasise “reported” because deaths aren’t always recorded there on the day they happened, which may distort the figures on any given day.
But the trend for both infections and deaths is sharply up.
The Dutch Government has been taking a noticeably more relaxed attitude than its neighbours to social distancing and lockdown rules, which is causing some anger in Belgium.
The one piece of good news is that air quality has improved across the continent since the shutdown.
For example, in Paris nitrous oxide levels are down 60% in the absence of most traffic, and overall air quality up 20 to 30% across the city
Coronavirus: Everything you need to know