Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has announced further measures
in a bid to stop the spread of the Covid-19 disease
across the country and reduce the alarming congestion
at the country's hospitals. Subject to approval from
the Cabinet who are meeting today, from the new rules
will mean that from tomorrow Monday 30th March
until Thursday 9th April, all those working in non-essential
sectors will be obliged to remain confined at home.
Sanchez explained that "this measure will reduce
the mobility of people even further, it will reduce
the risk of infection and allow us to decongest the
ICUs (Intensive Care Units)."
in the day, the Ministry of Health announced that the
number of confirmed cases has risen to 72,248, a daily
rise of 8,189, with the total number of deaths reaching
5,690, up 832 on Friday. The majority of cases have
been in the Madrid and Catalan regions where almost
50% of the total cases have been recorded . In
the Comunidad Valenciana, the total number of confirmed
cases rose just over 500 to 4,034 with the number of
deaths reaching 234, a rise of 36. The total number
of patients in ICUs across the region is 282. On a more
positive note, the gap between new infections and new
recoveries narrowed. But the statistics show that the
curve is yet to flatten and the peak of infections has
still not been reached.
current state of alarm was declared on March 15th, closing
bars and restaurants as well as confining people
to their homes except for essential journeys such as
to buy food and medication as well as travel to and
from work if it couldn't be done at home. Earlier this
week, Congress approved an extension to Sunday 12th
April, effectively cancelling the traditional 'Semana
Santa' celebrations. The new measures announced
on Saturday will now restrict the movement of the population
even further with only those working in essential sectors
allowed to continue working; food production and distribution,
pharmaceuticals, healthcare, vets, opticians, hygiene
products, the press, the fuel industry, tobacconists,
IT and telecommunications, pet food, Internet providers
and dry cleaners. Banks will remain open whilst mechanics
can continue offer a service to the freight sector,
essential to the movement of goods and products across
the country, but will not be open to the general public.
The construction sector and industries not producing
essentials such as medicine and food will also be obliged
to cease activity and its workforce to remain at home.
The objective is to reduce further the number of people
on the streets and slow down the spread of infection.
Prime Minister assured the workforce that they would
continue to be paid as usual by their employers on the
proviso that, once the health crisis has passed,
they will be required to recover the hours missed on
a gradual basis over time, such as working an extra
hour a day until the lost hours have been recuperated.
Those who work from home will continue to do so as before.
has also called on the European Union to fight the financial
consequences of the crisis together. "The response cannot be national, it has to be European and
with all resources at the most critical time for the EU since its
foundation, when we all need to work together, whether we are Dutch,
Spanish or German. Europe
is taking a risk, and it cannot fail because even the countries and
governments that are most pro-EU, as is the case with Spain, need proof
of real commitment. Spaniards have always backed the
strengthening of the common project. Now it is Europe's turn." He added
that: "Europe should put a type of war economy into motion and promote
resistance. And then European reconstruction and recovery. It has to do
it as soon as possible with measures that back the public debt that many
member states are taking on. And it will have to do so afterwards, once
the health emergency is over, to reconstruct the economies on the
continent, by mobilizing a large amount of resources via a plan that we
have called a new Marshall Plan, and which will have to count on the
backing of all the common institutions."
Date: Sunday 29th