MADRID: Spain confirmed more than 1,500 new cases of coronavirus between Friday (Mar 13) and Saturday (Mar 14) raising its total to 5,753 cases, the second-highest number in Europe after Italy.

The country was expected to declare a state of emergency on Saturday to try to mobilise resources to combat the virus, which has so far killed 136 people in Spain.

READ: Spain steps up anti-coronavirus plan to ‘avoid Italian scenario’

Spain recently shut down schools in several regions, suspended flights from Italy and closed the lower house of parliament for at least a week after a lawmaker tested positive for the coronavirus, in the hope of stemming a growing outbreak.

“We are working on avoiding the Italian scenario,” Health Minister Salvador Illa told reporters. 

“With these measures we believe that we can avoid it. And if we have to take additional measures, we will take them.”​​​​​​​

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