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    Spain extends lockdown measures

    Spain will extend its lockdown measures by two weeks. Credit: Belga

    Spain will be extending its state of emergency until 11 April in light of the new coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

    The Spanish parliament unanimously approved the extension of its lockdown measures in the early hours of Thursday, adding two additional weeks to the strict containment measures which went into force on 14 March, four days before Belgium enacted far-reaching measures as well.

    Spanish citizens are only allowed out of their homes to go to work, the doctor, the supermarket or pharmacy, to help vulnerable people or to walk their dogs. All other outings, even for sporting activities, are prohibited and offenders risk a fine or even imprisonment.

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    Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez promised to do everything possible to bring this “nightmare” “to an end soon”. The government hopes to reach the peak of infections this week thanks to the strict lockdown rules. 

    Spain is being hit hard by coronavirus and has now risen above China in the number of deaths, with Spain’s count currently at 4,089. 738 of these have died in the last 24 hours. According to an assessment by authorities on Wednesday, the country has counted 47,610 infections since the start of the epidemic.

    In Belgium, many people are wondering whether the measures imposed by Prime Minister Wilmès will extend beyond the current end date of 5 April. It was announced on Wednesday that Belgium would review this deadline on Friday 27 March. Besides, Spain is not the only European country to extend its lockdown measures. Recently, Italy said it would “clearly” have to and France said it was “very likely” to also extend its measures.

    Jason Spinks
    The Brussels Times