Spain has declared a state of emergency in response to the coronavirus epidemic after health authorities announced 1,063 new cases and 53 new deaths in one day.
The country’s prime minister, Pedro Sánchez made the major announcement during a press conference on Friday and pleaded with citizens stating that ”the fight against the disease “depends on each of us”.
Mr. Sanchez said: “The government of Spain will protect all its citizens and will guarantee the right life conditions to slow the pandemic with as little inconvenience as possible.”
According to Mr. Sanchez, the state of emergency will formally be declared by a cabinet meeting on Saturday and it’s expected to last 15 days in other to empower the government to take wide-ranging measures including confining people, ordering mass evacuations, and imposing rationing.
Schools have already shut down across the country, with many cinemas, theatres or playgrounds also closing and trials suspended in several regions as normal life came to a halt in the euro zone’s fourth-largest economy.
The new figures show Spain now has 4,209 confirmed cases and 120 deaths- the second-highest number of cases in Europe, after Italy.