Squares and streets from Milan to Madrid were deserted on Saturday as government calls to stay at home were heeded by most of the populations (AFP Photo/JAVIER SORIANO)

Spanish media reported that the country’s government will announce that it is placing tight restrictions on movement for the nation of 46 million people while declaring a two-week state of emergency to fight the sharp rise in coronavirus infections.

News agency Europa Press and daily newspaper El Mundo reported the drastic step shortly before Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez was due to address the nation.

The draft decree, seen by the Reuters news agency, says the lockdown will enter into force on Monday at 8am (07:00 GMT).

Health authorities in Spain said that coronavirus infections have reached 5,753 people, half of them in the capital, Madrid. That represents a national increase of over 1,500 in 24 hours.

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