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World Playgrounds taped off, streets deserted as Spain's coronavirus death toll doubles

18:50  15 march  2020
18:50  15 march  2020 Source:   reuters.com

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The government' s official coronavirus death toll rose by 152 overnight to 288. Two people pray in an empty church after Sunday masses were called off during partial lockdown as part of a 15-day state of emergency to combat the coronavirus disease outbreak in Madrid, Spain March 15, 2020.

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Spaniards hunkered down in silent cities on Sunday with children's playgrounds blocked off with police tape, after the government imposed sudden, severe restrictions on public life and the coronavirus death toll more than doubled overnight.

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The government' s official coronavirus death toll rose by 152 overnight to 288. Two people pray in an empty church after Sunday masses were called off during partial lockdown as part of a 15-day state of emergency to combat the coronavirus disease outbreak in Madrid, Spain March 15, 2020.

Spain , the second-worst affected European country after Italy, on Saturday ordered its 47 million citizens to stay indoors except for necessary outings such as The government' s official coronavirus death toll rose by 152 overnight to 288. The number infected rose by 2,000 new cases to 7,753.

Spain, the second-worst affected European country after Italy, on Saturday ordered its 47 million citizens to stay indoors except for necessary outings such as buying food and medicine. Social gatherings are banned.

The government's official coronavirus death toll rose by 152 overnight to 288. The number infected rose by 2,000 new cases to 7,753.

Among the high-profile figures to test positive were the prime minister's wife, two cabinet ministers and five players on top-flight soccer club Valencia.

The sudden Spanish lockdown, along with similarly abrupt moves to curtail public life in France, have astonished Western Europe this weekend, as countries follow Italy in imposing restrictions unseen in peacetime.

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Spain , the second-worst affected European country after Italy, on Saturday ordered its 47 million citizens to stay indoors except for necessary outings such as The government' s official coronavirus death toll rose by 152 overnight to 288. The number infected rose by 2,000 new cases to 7,753.

Spain , the second-worst affected European country after Italy, on Saturday ordered its 47 million citizens to stay indoors except for necessary outings such as The government' s official coronavirus death toll rose by 152 overnight to 288. The number infected rose by 2,000 new cases to 7,753.

Public places from city streets to beaches across Spain were deserted, with a strengthened presence of police, many wearing latex gloves and facemasks, ensuring people complied with the emergency measures.

All that could be heard on the empty streets of Madrid was the sound of families behind shuttered windows. People played video games, watched TV and sat out on balconies.

All major newspapers carried a wrapper emblazoned with a government-promoted slogan "Together we'll stop this virus." Newspapers reported that police could issue on-the-spot fines of hundreds of euros for those who fail to follow the rules.

Bars, restaurants and shops selling non-essential items are shut for 15 days as the country enters a state of emergency. Schools are shut, keeping millions of children at home.

In a further blow to Spain's economically vital tourist industry, Easter processions that typically draw huge crowds have been canceled.

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Spain , the second-worst affected European country after Italy, on Saturday ordered its 47 million citizens to stay indoors except for necessary outings such as The government' s official coronavirus death toll rose by 152 overnight to 288. The number infected rose by 2,000 new cases to 7,753.

Spain , the second-worst affected European country after Italy, on Saturday ordered its 47 million citizens to stay indoors except for necessary outings such as The government' s official coronavirus death toll rose by 152 overnight to 288. The number infected rose by 2,000 new cases to 7,753.

Britain on Sunday advised its citizens against all but essential travel to Spain. Around 4,400 inbound flights to Spain have been canceled for the second half of March, the Spanish airlines association said on Thursday.

"I hope it ends soon so I can go back to work," said 22-year-old airport worker Fabricio, who declined to give his surname, waiting to make a money transfer in central Madrid.

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Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Saturday the emergency measures would have a major impact on citizens and businesses, but promised the government would work to lessen the blow.

Spain, where more than half of jobs are dependent on small or medium-sized companies, already has one of the developed world's highest unemployment rates.

"This city depends on tourism - what with all the bars and restaurants and shops - this is really going to economically damage many businesses," said 52-year-old Leonel Sanchez, out to buy food on Madrid's main thoroughfare, Gran Via. 

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