Spain decrees new state of emergency in COVID-19 fight

Cheryl Sanders
October 26, 2020

Spain on Sunday adopted tougher measures to fight a second coronavirus wave, including a nationwide curfew and the declaration of a new state of emergency.

"We need a decentralised state of emergency in which the Catalan government maintains all management capacity", deputy Catalan leader Pere Aragones told a news conference. Mr Sanchez has asked for Parliament to approve its extension up to May 9.

"The situation we are going through is extreme", he said in a televised address following a cabinet meeting convened to discuss the crisis.

A government statement said the overnight curfew would run from 11:00 pm until 6:00 am.

The leaders of Spain's 17 regions and two autonomous cities will have the authority to set different hours for the curfew, as long as they are stricter; close regional borders to travel, and limit gatherings to six people who do not live together, the prime minister said.

Canary Islands vice president Roman Rodriguez tweeted he was "satisfied" the tourist hotspot had been excluded from the curfews but encouraged people not to let their guard down.

Mr Sanchez last week signalled that infections in Spain may be much more pervasive than the official data shows.

Spain's government has already declared two states of emergency during the pandemic. The first, in March, ordered strict home confinement across the nation. "Everyone knows what they have to do", the Prime Minister said Sunday.

Spain has declared a new state of emergency in an effort to curb soaring coronavirus infections.

The state of emergency makes it easier for authorities to take swift action, avoiding having to get numerous restrictions approved by a judge.

The meeting comes just days after Spain registered more than one million virus cases, becoming the sixth country in the world to pass the grim milestone - and the first in the European Union.

More than three million people in Spain have caught the virus, he said last Friday, a figure some three times higher than official numbers.

The latest figures show the virus has claimed almost 35,000 lives in Spain and infected 1,046,132 people, although antibody tests suggest a figure of more than 3 million. Confirmed cases are rising across the peninsula, the Balearic Islands and Spain's two African enclaves.

"The loss of life must be as low as possible but we also must protect our economy", Mr Sanchez said.

Other reports by iNewsToday