Spain suspends lower house of parliament for two weeks due to coronavirus-Xinhua

Spain suspends lower house of parliament for two weeks due to coronavirus

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2020-03-13 00:10:34

MADRID, March 12 (Xinhua) -- The Spanish parliament on Thursday suspended all activities for the next 15 days due to the coronavirus, Spanish TV network RTVE reported.

The decision came after it was confirmed that the Minister of Equality, Irene Montero, had tested positive for COVID-19 and her partner, Deputy Prime Minister Pablo Iglesias, was quarantined. Montero's positive test was revealed a day after Deputy Speaker of Congress and lawmaker of the Vox party Ana Pastor also tested positive for the virus.

The Spanish Congress (lower chamber) will hold a special session on March 24 in order to pass urgent decrees, but only those members who will make speeches will attend, while other members will be able to vote by phone.

After Montero's positive test, it was confirmed by the Prime Minister's Office that all members of Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez's cabinet will be tested for COVID-19. Members of the Spanish Royal Family have also been tested for the virus.

The news of the suspension of parliament came after the country's Ministry of Health reported that the number of coronavirus cases in Spain increased from just under 2,200 on Wednesday to 2,968 on Thursday and that 84 people have now died of the disease.

Around half of the confirmed COVID-19 cases are in the region of Madrid, where the regional government has assured residents that there are no problems with the supply of food or essential goods.

Schools and colleges in the Basque Region in the north of Spain, as well as in Catalonia (northeast), Galicia (north), Murcia (southeast) and the Balearic Islands will remain closed until March 26. Schools in Madrid and La Rioja were closed earlier in the week.

All museums and art galleries in the Madrid region have also been closed and performances in the Teatro Real concert hall have been suspended.

The Spanish Football League (LaLiga) announced on Thursday that it was suspending matches in the Liga Santander and Liga SmartBank for the next two weeks, while Real Madrid said that the club was putting all of its basketball and football first team players into quarantine after a member of the basketball team tested positive for the coronavirus.

The Barcelona-based Euroleague also confirmed on Thursday that it was suspending the competition until further notice.


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