Army specialists in protective suits sprayed disinfectant in train stations and police in surgical masks ordered casual strollers to go home on Sunday after Spain clamped down during a coronavirus outbreak that saw deaths more than double overnight.
Spaniards, housebound by law since Saturday, emerged on balconies and stood at windows on Sunday evening to whoop and beep horns in appreciation of emergency services dealing with Europe’s second-worst outbreak after Italy.
The government’s official coronavirus death toll rose by 152 overnight to 288. The number of infected rose by 2,000 cases to 7,753. Schools across the country are closed, keeping millions of children at home. Social gatherings are banned.
The sudden Spanish lockdown, along with similarly abrupt moves to curtail public life in France, has astonished Western Europe this weekend, as countries follow Italy in imposing restrictions unseen in peacetime.
Among the high-profile figures to test positive in Spain were the prime minister’s wife, two Cabinet ministers and five players of top-flight soccer club Valencia.
Spain and Portugal will agree to restrict tourism between the two countries from Monday to curb the infection’s spread, Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa said.
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