The new figures show Spain now has 4,209 confirmed cases and a revised death toll of 120. Spanish television news said a so-called “state of alert” would be the first of three stages of the state of emergency. It lasts 15 days and empowers the government to take wide-ranging measures including confining people or ordering mass evacuations.
Spanish media has also reported all restaurants, bars and shops in Madrid will be forced to close over the coronavirus epidemic with only supermarkets and pharmacies allowed to remain open.
TVE said the shutdown would start tomorrow.
Regional authorities could not immediately confirm the plan which would signal a drastic increase in Spain’s response to the rapidly-spreading virus.
Spain has the fifth most cases in the world and the second most in Europe, behind Italy, in an outbreak that has centred on Madrid and the Basque country.
All schools and universities were closed today and the city’s public transport network is being disinfected every day to kill any bacteria on surfaces.
The hardest hit regions are Madrid, the Basque Country and La Rioja.
Health authorities in the Madrid region said the number of cases rose to 2,078 today.
Britons have been warned to stay away from the most badly-effected regions.
The Foreign Office has updated its advice advising against all but essential travel Madrid and La Rioja, the municipalities of La Bastida and Vitoria in the Basque Country and Miranda de Ebro in Castilla y León.
Hundreds of thousands of Britons visit the affected areas every year.
The Foreign Office is not advising against travel to other areas of Spain or suggesting that British nationals in the country leave, as transport routes out remain open.
BREAKING NEWS. MORE FOLLOWS…
Published at Fri, 13 Mar 2020 13:12:00 +0000