Spain Declares National Lockdown Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Spain To Impose Nationwide Lockdown To Combat The Coronavirus
MADRID, SPAIN - MARCH 14: Police wear protective masks and gloves as they patrol along Calle Arenal on March 14, 2020 in Madrid, Spain. The Spanish government has declared a state of emergency and is poised to put the country under lockdown to combat the virus. (Photo by Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images) Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty

Spain declared a national lockdown Saturday amid the coronavirus pandemic that will go into effect Monday.

"The measures that we are going to adopt are drastic and will have consequences," Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said in an address to the nation Saturday. "Our mission and determination is to protect Spanish lives and beat the virus."

Sanchez suspended "face-to-face" education at schools and colleges and mandated that schooling now take place online. He also ordered the closings of non-essential commercial entities excluding food markets, pharmacies, and medical supply stores. Sanchez is also exempting beauty salons and barbershops.

BREAKING: Spain issues nationwide lock down & shut down of all business; the only exceptions are for basic food, medicine and welfare. Europe is now classified as the epicenter of the #COVIDー19 pandemic, according to the @WHO.

— David Begnaud (@DavidBegnaud) March 14, 2020

The lockdown would force people to stay home and go out only to work, buy food or go to the hospital in the case of an emergency.

Johns Hopkins University's dashboard, which displays global cases of COVID-19, shows that there are 6,023 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in Spain that have resulted in 191 deaths.

World Health Organization director Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus recommended that countries take aggressive measures to halt the spread of the highly contagious novel coronavirus Wednesday.

"Let's all look out for each other, because we're in this together to do the right things with calm and to protect the citizens of the world," the director said, after officially declaring the COVID-19 a global pandemic.

France is also taking measures to slow the spread of the virus within its borders. Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has ordered all non-essential public locations such as restaurants, movie theaters, and clubs to close. There have been 3,640 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 79 deaths as a result of the virus.

French newspaper Le Monde reported that Philippe called the measures "the best way to curb the epidemic."

"I say it seriously, we must all show more discipline in the application of these measures. We must avoid gathering as much as possible, limit friendly and family gatherings, use public transport only to go to work, leave the house only for essential shopping. It is imperative to limit travel, meetings, contacts," Philippe said in his announcement Saturday.

The measure Spain has implemented is similar to what has already been realized in Italy where restaurants, shops, schools, and hotels have been shuttered in a dramatic attempt to halt the spread of COVID-19. Italy has more than 21,100 confirmed cases and over 1,400 deaths.

In the United States, President Donald Trump declared a national emergency Friday in order to give his administration access to $50 billion to help combat the pandemic and to circumvent red tape to allow testing and other measures to happen more rapidly.

The United States has 2,571 confirmed cases of COVID-19 resulting in 51 deaths. Worldwide, the number of confirmed cases have reached over 153,000 and the amount of deaths is above 5,700 people.