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Spiritual home of Rioja producers hit by coronavirus

Published:  09 March, 2020

Haro, the spiritual home of quality Rioja producers, has been hit by the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak as residents of the town in the heart of the wine region are told to stay at home.

Residents of the town were told to stay at home on Saturday following dozens of cases of coronavirus being traced back to a funeral held in the nearby Basque country two weeks ago.

Of Spain’s 430 confirmed cases of the virus, 60 are reported to have originated among people who attended the funeral service in the Basque city of Vitoria-Gasteiz, with 39 of those cases said to be predominantly in the town of Haro and Casalarreina, in the neighbouring La Rioja province, according to health authorities.

Another 25 cases are reported to have been confirmed in the Basque country.

Measures are being ramped-up across Spain after seven more people died from the disease this weekend – bringing the total number of fatalities to 17, with PM Pedro Sanchéz set to attend a meeting today with the health ministry to assess the next steps to take to try to contain the virus.

The regional health department has called for the cancellation of events in enclosed spaces and urged people to stay at home and contact the authorities if they believe they have picked up the virus.

The news follows coronavirus causing chaos in the world of wine as several key events have been cancelled, including Prowein.