16:02 GMT24 November 2020
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    Coronavirus Pandemic: Borders Shut, Public Events Cancelled (257)
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    MADRID (Sputnik) - The Spanish parliament has supported the government's proposal to extend the high alert regime in place due to COVID-19 pandemic through 11 April.

    Spain declared a state of high alert on 14 March, limiting the movement of people for 15 days, with a possible extension by parliament if necessary. People are allowed to go outside only to shop for necessities.

    The decision was upheld by a 321-0 vote with 28 abstentions.

    The vast majority of lawmakers of the 350-seat Congress of Deputies participated in the vote online due to the quarantine regime — only 43 were present in the meeting room.

    According to Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, who advocated the extension of the nation's high alert, the main task of the government was to protect the Spanish people.

    "The isolation is needed. It is not easy for the government to ask for it, or for you to authorize it, but it is even more difficult for citizens to accept it ... This is a new sacrifice for everyone ... To defeat the virus you need to deprive it of its main weapon — social contacts," Sanchez said.

    During the discussion, which lasted for 11 hours, the opposition criticized, in particular, the government for introducing quarantine measures too late.

    Spain is the second most affected country in Europe after Italy. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases is close to 48,000, and the death toll exceeds 3,600, which is higher than that of China.

    Coronavirus Pandemic: Borders Shut, Public Events Cancelled (257)
    alert, coronavirus, Spain
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