May 6, 2020 / 4:29 PM / a month ago

Spain extends coronavirus state of emergency for two weeks

A discarded face mask is seen on the ground, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Madrid, Spain May 6, 2020. REUTERS/Susana Vera

MADRID (Reuters) - Spain has extended the state of emergency imposed to combat the coronavirus pandemic for two more weeks from Sunday, allowing the government to control people’s movements as it gradually relaxes a national lockdown.

Parliament approved the measure on Wednesday after Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, who heads a fragile coalition government, mustered enough support from opposition parties to carry the vote.

Spain, where more than 25,000 people have died from the COVID-19 disease, has been under a lockdown since March 14 and the current state of emergency ends at midnight on Saturday.

Although the situation is improving, Sanchez says it is necessary to maintain some restrictions on movement to keep the infection at bay.

Reporting By Belen Carreno; Editing by Angus MacSwan

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