Spain is the second most bereaved country in the world after Italy, with 11,744 deaths due to Coronavirus Covid-19 according to the latest report.
The confinement of the population in Spain will be extended until April 25th to curb the spread of the coronavirus, announced on Saturday 4th April 2020, the head of government Pedro Sanchez, who has not ruled out other extensions.
The economic “hibernation” decreed last Sunday and consisting in stopping for two weeks all non-essential activities will not, however, be extended beyond the Easter weekend, added the socialist.
On alert since March 14th
“The Council of Ministers next Tuesday will again seek the authorization of the Chamber of Deputies to extend, for the second time, the state of alert”, which allowed to impose a containment of the strictest, “until to Saturday 25th April at midnight, “said Mr Sanchez in a television address.
Decreed on March 14, the state of alert was to end on April 11 at midnight after having already been extended by two weeks.
These two additional weeks of confinement are “the time our health system needs to recover,” said Sanchez.
Spain is the second most bereaved country in the world after Italy, with 11,744 deaths due to Covid-19 according to the latest assessment published on Saturday, and nearly 125,000 confirmed cases.
The increase in the number of cases has slowed gradually since the middle of last week and the death toll has just fallen two days in a row to 809 after the record 950 deaths announced Thursday.
” Glimmer of hope “
“We now know that these three weeks of collective isolation” since mid-March “are bearing fruit,” said Mr Sanchez. This confinement has helped “stop the spread of the virus, contain the avalanche on hospitals, treat the sick and save lives,” he said.
However, “relaxing now would be even worse,” warned the leader, stressing the risk of a “second wave” of contagions.
“Yes, we see a ray of hope”, but “we are entering a new phase that is not at all easy, the transition phase,” said Dr Maria José Sierra, of the health alert centre.
Mr Sanchez did not rule out further extensions of the state of alert while hinting at the possibility of relaxing the strict containment rules if the situation improves.
“We will have several states of alert (…) until the final return to normal,” he explained.
“We are starting to observe a certain relaxation in the respect of the rules (…) and we must ask you not to despair, not to relax” and to “stay at home”, asked for his part the chief of the national police José Garcia Molina at a press conference.
Medical equipment problem
Spain is also still engaged in a race against the clock to procure the medical equipment which is sorely lacking in its overwhelmed hospitals, in particular respirators.
About fifty arrived from Germany Friday, within the framework of the request for aid of Spain to its NATO allies.
Another consignment sent from Turkey was requisitioned Friday by the Turkish authorities, but the latter finally decided on Saturday to allow it to leave for Spain, announced the Spanish Minister for Foreign Affairs Arancha Gonzalez Laya.
“I can announce that Turkey will authorize in the next few hours the departure of these respirators made in Turkey for Spain (…) thanks above all to the fact that the Turkish authorities understand that today Spain has more need these respirators only Turkey, “she said on Saturday evening to the Cuatro television channel.
The cargo “has been subject to a recent export ban, along with other critical equipment” but discussions have been held to “exempt the said shipment from the ban,” AFP said. official Turkish source.