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Young students play in a public school, in Vitoria, northern Spain, Monday, March 9, 2020. Image Credit: AP

Madrid: Schools and universities in the Madrid region will close for two weeks starting on Wednesday as a precaution against coronavirus, Health Minister Salvador Illa told a news conference, as the infection spread further in Spain.

Media including Cadena Ser radio said this would send 1.2 million pupils home.

Regional authorities had said earlier that schools in Vitoria, the capital of the Basque region, would close for two weeks as well as a precautionary measure.

Twenty-eight people have died in Spain from the virus, official figures show. There are a total of 1,204 cases, still far behind Italy's tally.

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said earlier on Monday, without giving details, that the government was preparing plans to mitigate the impact of the virus on the Spanish economy.

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