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Spaniards Take To Their Balconies To Applaud Doctors And Nurses During Coronavirus Lockdown

Spaniards have erupted into spontaneous applause to show support for health officials after the country of 47 million people was placed under lockdown on Sunday.

The coordinated applause was reportedly organised through social media, with Spaniards clapping from their balconies in unison at 10 pm.

Under the hashtags #compartomiaplausosanitario (I share my health applause) #yomequedoencasa (I stay at home) and #aplausosanitario (health applause), dozens of Spaniards took to social media to praise the health officials who are fighting coronavirus.

It came after Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez enforced a 15-day state of emergency to combat the coronavirus epidemic.

Effective immediately, all Spaniards were ordered to stay home, except to buy food, medicines, go to work, or for emergencies.

As a result of the lockdown, bars, restaurants and shops selling anything other than food and other staples have been shut down. All leisure and sports activities have also been ordered to close, including cinemas, theatres, swimming pools or football grounds.

"We will (eventually) return to the routine of our jobs and again visit our friends and loved ones," Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said in a nationally televised address on Saturday.

"Until that time comes, let's not waste energies that are essential now. Let's not lose our way," he said, urging all to stay home.

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Spain, France Announce Major Coronavirus Lockdowns

The French government has ordered the closing of cafes, restaurants and cinemas as Spanish officials planned to lock down their 46 million citizens.

Spain's death toll is currently at 193 and there are 6,250 confirmed cases of coronavirus throughout the country.

But despite Spain being the second-worst affected European county, social media has been littered with shows of generosity and gratitude from residents inside the country.

One video posted to social media claimed a Chinese business had donated 500 masks to a hospital in Vallecas.

"It is true that the worst of many people comes out in these situations. But also the best," a user wrote on Twitter.

Other European countries have also seen displays of community cohesiveness while battling the virus. While 60 million people in Italy are stuck under lockdown, some have joined together to sing from balconies.

Videos posted online show Italians passing the time indoors by singing folk songs with their neighbours from their windows.

Italian journalist David Allegranti told CBS News "the Italians are experiencing a very difficult time."

"People cling to what they can, including a traditional song like this."

Italy is currently the worst-affected country in the world outside of China, with 21,157 infections and 1,441 people dead from coronavirus.

With AAP