Wife of Spanish PM Sanchez has coronavirus

Published: 11:35 AM, 15 Mar, 2020
Wife of Spanish PM Sanchez has coronavirus
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The wife of Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, his office said late Saturday, just hours after he announced a near-total lockdown nationwide.

Both Begona Gomez and her husband were well, and were at their official residence following the new measures introduced by the health authorities, said a government statement.

Spain followed Italy and imposed a near-total nationwide lockdown to fight the spread of coronavirus by banning people from leaving home except to go to work, get medical care or buy food.

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced the restrictions on movement following a huge spike in the number of infections in this nation of some 46 million people. They are among the measures introduced as part of a 15-day state of emergency officially declared by his government on Saturday.

Spain confirmed more than 1,500 new cases of coronavirus since Friday evening, raising its total to 5,753 cases, the second-highest number in Europe after Italy. The disease has so far claimed 183 lives in Spain.

"The prohibition to circulate in the streets... must be followed starting today," he said in a televised address after a cabinet meeting that lasted more than seven hours.

Spaniards may leave home to go to work, "buy bread", go to the pharmacy and get medical care but "not to go have dinner at a friend's house", he added.

Police would ensure the restrictions on people's movements are obeyed, said the prime minister, whose office later announced that his wife Begona Gomez had tested positive for the virus.


Agence France-Presse is an international news agency.