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UPDATE 1-Madrid region orders shutdown of bars, shops except supermarkets, chemists - reports

chemists - reports@ (Adds details)

MADRID, March 13 (Reuters) - All restaurants, bars and shops in Madrid will need to close over the coronavirus epidemic, with only supermarkets and pharmacies allowed to remain open, Spanish media said on Friday.

El Mundo wrote that bars, restaurants and shops would close, while El Independiente said supermarkets and pharmacies can remain open. TVE broadcaster also reported the news, saying the shutdown would start on Saturday.

Regional authorities could not immediately confirm the shutdown, which is a drastic increase in Spain's response to the rapidly-spreading virus. Spain has the highest number of coronavirus cases in Europe after Italy.

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez will make an address to the nation at 1430 (1330 GMT), his office said. One of the questions is whether he will declare a nation-wide state of emergency over the coronavirus outbreak.

The number of cases in Spain has jumped to 4,000, La Vanguardia newspaper said, up by about a 1,000 from Thursday and five times as much as on Sunday. Ninety people have died.

Madrid, which has the highest number of cases in the country, was eerily quiet on Friday, with shops, streets and cafes largely deserted, even before the terrace shutdown was announced.

Meanwhile, the Basque Country, one of Spain's wealthiest regions, declared a health emergency, which regional president Inigo Urkullu said would allow the region to declare quarantine rapidly if needed, as well as evacuate people or restrict access to some areas.

This comes after Catalan authorities locked down on Thursday four towns around the village of Igualada - 49 km (30 miles) north of Barcelona - after a significant outbreak in the area. (Reporting by Belen Carreno and Emma Pinedo Writing by Ingrid Melander, editing by Andrei Khalip)

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