Spain’s deputy PM quarantined after wife tests positive, cases touch 3,000

Minister took part in a march on International Women’s Day in Madrid last Sunday. (AP pic)

MADRID: Spain’s government underwent coronavirus testing Thursday after a minister tested positive and was quarantined with her partner, deputy prime minister Pablo Iglesias, and cases soared close to 3,000.

The surge in infections brought the total to 2,968 cases in Spain up from 2,140 on Wednesday evening, with deaths leaping to 84 from 48 within the same time frame.

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

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

Montero tested positive on Wednesday evening, three days after appearing at a mass march of some 120,000 people through Madrid for International Women’s Day.

A special cabinet meeting to discuss an emergency plan of action to respond to the crisis went ahead around 12.00pm as planned, with Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and 14 other ministers, it said.

However, all of Sanchez’s upcoming appointments would be conducted by video conference.

Spain has seen the number of infections spiral since the start of the week, becoming one of the worst-hit countries in Europe.

Madrid has borne the brunt of the crisis with 1,388 infections and 38 deaths.

The International Women’s Day demonstration on Sunday evening took place just hours before health authorities detected a huge spike in infections.