Spain declares state of emergency over Coronavirus

Spanish government has declared a state of emergency as part of measures to curb the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic.

The measures are set to come into force at 8am local time (7am UK time) on Monday and last 15 days, the country’s prime minister Pedro Sanchez confirmed.

During the two-week quarantine, the country’s 47 million inhabitants will only be allowed to leave their homes to buy food, for work or for medical needs.

Mr Sanchez told reporters on Saturday that the covid-19 pandemic requires “extraordinary decisions.”

“We must all be united in fighting the outbreak”, he added.

Spain is the worst-hit country in Europe after Italy, which declared a nationwide lockdown on Monday.

Its infection count surged by 1,500 cases overnight on Friday to more than 5,700 – with a total of 3,000 in the capital Madrid.

Mr Sanchez acknowledged that the measures were drastic “and will have consequences” for the country.

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