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Spain minister tests positive for coronavirus

Spain’s equality minister has tested positive for coronavirus and has been quarantined with her partner, deputy prime minister and Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias, a government statement said on Thursday.

“The minister (Irene Montero) is in a good condition and second deputy prime minister Pablo Iglesias is also in quarantine due to the situation,” the statement said.

“This morning, all members of the government will undergo testing,” it added, indicating the results would be published later in the day.

The announcement was made barely two hours before the government was to convene a special cabinet meeting to discuss an emergency plan of action to respond to the coronavirus crisis.

Although the meeting would go ahead, it would only include those ministers whose presence was essential, and all of Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s upcoming appointments would be conducted by videoconference, the statement said.

The statement came as Spain struggles to handle a quadrupling of cases in three days, taking the number of infections above 2,000 and 48 dead, with Madrid the worst-hit area accounting for more than half of the cases.

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