Don't dance, don't smoke, don't drink: Not fiesta time in Spain's COVID-19 fight
MADRID (Reuters) - Spanish authorities ordered the closure of nightclubs, banned drinking in outdoor public areas and smoking when keeping a safe distance from people is impossible, among other measures imposed on Friday to try to stem a coronavirus resurgence. Infections have spiked in recent days following the end of Spain's tough lockdown seven weeks ago.
COVID-19 fight" src="https://images.firstpost.com/wp-content/uploads/reuters/08-2020/15/2020-08-14T132111Z_1_LYNXNPEG7D100_RTROPTP_2_SPAIN-ECONOMY-GDP.jpg" alt="Dont dance dont smoke dont drink Not fiesta time in Spains COVID19 fight" width="300" height="225" />
MADRID (Reuters) - Spanish authorities ordered the closure of nightclubs, banned drinking in outdoor public areas and smoking when keeping a safe distance from people is impossible, among other measures imposed on Friday to try to stem a coronavirus resurgence.
Infections have spiked in recent days following the end of Spain's tough lockdown seven weeks ago. Thursday's almost 3,000 new cases brought the cumulative total to 337,334 - the highest number in Western Europe.
Bars and restaurants will also have to close by 1 a.m. as part of the new restrictions, Health Minister Salvador Illa told a news conference.
He also advised against gatherings of more than 10 people and specifically warned young people not to gather outside to drink alcohol, a popular practice called "botellones".
"We cannot afford not to be disciplined," Illa said. "We cannot ignore the virus circulating among us."
Some regions such as Galicia and the Canary Islands had already taken measures to curb smoking in public areas earlier this week.
The increase in infections has led to worries the country could return to the grim situation it experienced in early April when the daily COVID-19 death toll approached 1,000, but Illa played down such concerns.
Official data shows 70 people have died over the past week, bringing Spain's total coronavirus death toll to 28,605.
"The situation is not comparable with March and April," the minister said, remarking that more young people were now becoming infected, many of them showing no symptoms, and patients in general were getting less severely ill.
(Reporting by Inti Landauro and Isla Binnie; Editing by Andrei Khalip and Frances Kerry)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.