Spain is enacting urgent measures to curb the coronavirus outbreak as cases and deaths in the country have tripled since Monday.
Spain is among the worst-hit countries in the world, with at least 2,968 coronavirus cases and 84 deaths, according to the government.
The outbreak has effectively driven Madrid to a halt as the Spanish capital accounts for nearly half of the country’s cases.
The regional government has closed down all schools and told people to work from home when possible, but the region is still open for travel.
It was reported on Thursday that Spain’s Minister for Equality Irene Montero tested positive for COVID-19 after participating in an International Women’s Day march -- attended by around 375,000 people -- in Madrid on Sunday.
Consequently, all national politicians are now being tested for the virus, including Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.
Local media reported that members of the Spanish royal family are also being tested after coming into contact with the minister.
Elsewhere in Spain, schools are being closed in areas where cases have been reported, but the policy varies according to regions.
It was also announced on Thursday that Spain’s football league has been suspended and the entire Real Madrid team has been sent into quarantine.
Just last night, according to a report, 2,800 fans of Atletico Madrid traveled to Liverpool in the U.K. for a UEFA Champions League match.
On Wednesday, Spain’s head of emergency services said he expects cases will continue rising for two months in the best-case scenario and four months in the worst.
Spain’s benchmark stock market, the IBEX 35, is currently down nearly 30% from highs reached less than a month ago.