Eerily quiet: From Madrid to London, streets are empty amid coronavirus shutdown - in pictures

Swathes of the globe went silent as gatherings were banned as Covid-19 spreads

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Once-bustling boulevards sat silent as countries around the world went into lockdown in an attempt to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

While some governments made urgent pleas for residents to stay at home, others enforced curfews to keep people off the streets.

Burj Khalifa says #stayhome

Burj Khalifa says #stayhome

In total, more than 1.5 billion people – or one-fifth of the world’s population – was told not to go out.

New York’s Times Square was illuminated with barely anyone there to take in the dazzling lights as the “city that never sleeps” ground to a halt.

The cafes and restaurants in Madrid’s squares were shut, while other squares around Europe that usually throng with tourists taking selfies were populated only by flocks of pigeons.

In Saudi Arabia, a three-week curfew will compel residents to stay indoors from 7pm to 6am, while in the UAE the normally popular beaches are deserted and the shopping malls are set to close.