PANDEMIC: The head of the Spanish government, Pedro Sanchez has revised upwards the official number of coronavirus infected people
Three times more than the official figure. In a televised statement devoted to measures against Covid-19, the head of the Spanish government, Pedro Sanchez said on Friday that the “real number” of people infected with the virus in Spain since the start of the pandemic “exceeds three million”.
He recalled that Spain had officially passed the milestone of one million cases of the new coronavirus this week, but explained that this huge difference was due to the fact that the proportion of positive people detected was very low at the start of the pandemic. “We are now detecting the majority of cases, around 70%,” he said, compared to just 10% in the first wave.
New restrictions to come
“The situation is serious,” he added without announcing new measures. This speech seemed especially intended to prepare the Spaniards for new restrictions, in particular when the regions, which have the prerogatives in matters of public health, will have reached an agreement with the central government.
In the hours leading up to this televised intervention, the presidents of the country’s 17 autonomous regions had announced new restrictions or called on the central government to impose a curfew, like what has been done in several European countries, such as Belgium or France.
No meetings between midnight and 6 a.m. in Madrid
The regional authorities of Madrid have announced the ban from Saturday of meetings between midnight and 6 a.m. The aim is to impose a “drastic reduction in social activity,” said the head of health in the regional government of Madrid, Enrique Ruiz Escudero.
Bars and restaurants will have to close at midnight and will no longer be able to accept customers after 11 p.m. This announcement came as the state of alert, an exceptional measure that equates to a state of health emergency, will end on Saturday afternoon in Madrid and in eight neighbouring localities. The measure was decreed two weeks ago by the central government to allow the partial closure of the capital, despite the objections of the regional government, led by the right-wing opposition.
Curfew in Castile and Leon
For his part, the president of the region of Castile and Leon (north) did not wait for the central government to announce that he would impose a curfew on his citizens from this weekend, while the president of the Valencia region indicated that he would do the same in the coming days.
The central government is not opposed to a curfew, but considers that this exceptional regime requires, from a legal standpoint, the prior proclamation of a state of alert and requires the agreement of all the regions for this. , which he does not yet have.
Pedro Sanchez wants to avoid a new confinement
Looking grim, Pedro Sanchez called on his compatriots to show “determination”, “the greatest social discipline” and “the necessary unity” to “reverse the curve” of infections. “The situation is not comparable with that of March 14, when we were forced to declare confinement”, one of the strictest in the world, he said, adding that he wanted to avoid a new confinement “Because of its consequences on our social life and its economic impact”.
Spain, one of the countries hardest hit by the pandemic, on Wednesday became the sixth country to officially cross the million cases of Covid-19 and recorded nearly 35,000 deaths.