Spain is now the first western European country to record more than 1 million cases in the second wave of COVID-19 infections.
The country’s prime minister Pedro Sánchez says that his cabinet approved putting Spain into a state of emergency. Having that said, the government declared a state of emergency that will last for two weeks. It has also imposed a national wide curfew.
The new rules came into effect on Sunday and are expected to last until May 9, 2021. Under the emergency measures, the local authorities imposed a ban on traveling within its regions as well.
According to the restrictions, public or private gatherings will be in a minimum of six people. On the other hand, the curfew timings will last from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m., but some regions can adjust the timings up to one hour.
The curfew schedules between regions will be made by the regional leaders and will depend on the necessity of work and medical help.
As per the constitution, the state of emergency cannot last longer than two weeks. If required for an extended duration, the decision should be supported by the Congress of Deputies.
Sánchez stated that the government would seek approval for six months state of emergency next week. He also requested the opposition party leaders to support his decision.
While addressing the news on television, Sánchez stated that decisions are taken after following scientists’ and experts’ advice in the field. He also assured that the restrictions would not be extended a day longer than required.
Furthermore, the prime minister also stated that the government believes that the situation can be brought under control without strict national lockdowns like during the first wave.
The minister also asked the citizens to maintain fewer contacts and to stay home. He suggested that the more protected an individual will be, the healthier they will be.
During his press conference, he stated:
“Sacrifices will be indispensable. No one, not the government of Spain nor its regional governments, wants to impose a single restriction that isn’t necessary to flatten the curve and protect public health.”
He also added that these situations are extreme and are the most serious ones in the last half-century. So far, the country has 1.05 million cases and 34,000 deaths. More than half of Spain’s 17 regions called for stricter restrictions. The newly imposed measures will be effective in all the regions except the Canary Islands.
Its neighboring countries like Italy and France have also imposed restrictions to curb the number of rising infections.
Image courtesy of au_uhoo/Shutterstock
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