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Spain to declare state of alert over virus


Spain's government is to declare a state of alert over the rapid spread of the deadly coronavirus, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Friday after infections soared to over 4,200 with 120 dead.

"There will be a cabinet meeting tomorrow to declare a state of alert across the country for a period of 15 days," Sanchez said.

"Unfortunately we cannot rule out that over the next week we could reach more than 10,000 infections," he said.


The government would adopt a series of extraordinary measures in order "to mobilise all the resources of the state to better protect the health of all of its citizens", he said pointing to both public and private resources, as well as civilian and military.

"Several very tough weeks... are ahead of us," Sanchez added, saying Spain was "only in the first phase of the fight against the virus".


"Victory depends on every single one of us... Heroism is also about washing your hands and staying at home."

Following Sanchez's comments, the Madrid regional authorities ordered all shops in the region to be shuttered from Saturday through to March 26, covering the state of the alert period, save for those selling food, chemists and petrol stations, in order to slow the virus spread.

"We are ordering the closure of establishments and stores save for (those selling) food and basic necessities," the regional executive stated.


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