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Spain declares a state of alarm to contain the second wave of Covid-19

» ProSalud

The Spanish Council of Ministers this Sunday decreed the state of alarm for the country for the next fifteen days, although it is intended that it will be extended until May, which will require the approval of the Congress of Deputies.

During an appearance from the La Moncloa palace, President Pedro Sánchez pointed out that This state of alarm has specific characteristics that differentiate it from the one approved in mid-March and that gave the central government the main authority.

Now The delegated authorities will be the autonomous governments, which will have the help of the Interterritorial Council of the National Health System, made up of the autonomous communities and the central government.

From 23:00 p.m. at night until 06:00 hrs. It could only be circulated for justified reasons, like going to work or buying medicine. Communities may extend these time slots if necessary. In addition, they may apply confinements by zones within their territories and limit entries or exits from them. They may also restrict meetings in public or private spaces to six people, unless they are cohabitants.

Next Tuesday, the Council of Ministers will debate and, where appropriate, will approve the government's proposal that the state of alarm be extended until May 9. If this idea is approved, it will have to be endorsed by Congress, as established by current legislation.

“I formally request all parliamentary groups that this exceptional measure have overwhelming parliamentary support this coming week. Citizens demand it to give a horizon of tranquility, peace, and certainty to their daily lives.; Economic actors also need it to provide a horizon of predictability and job guarantees to companies and also to jobs; It is required by the regional governments and the Ministry of Health to work with the necessary tools for as long as necessary and If the pandemic situation allows it, the Spanish government - there is no doubt about it - will lift the state of alarm without delay"Not one day more, not one day less," Sánchez said.

The decision adopted this Sunday is due to the demand from ten autonomous communities and the autonomous city of Melilla. It has the favorable opinion of the Council of State and the General State Attorney's Office.

Last Friday, Sánchez assured that the coronavirus situation in the Iberian country "is serious." He stated that The real number of infections in Spain exceeds three million people, according to estimates, although the official figure is more than one million 26 thousand infections and 34 thousand 500 deaths.

He considered that the reason why fewer deaths are recorded than during the first wave is that More tests are carried out than then, reaching 800 thousand tests per week at the beginning of October. This also guarantees the detection of 70% of cases.

Faced with this situation It is mandatory to reduce mobility and limit contacts between people as much as possible, since it is in social gatherings, the family environment, work and nightlife where the highest number of infections is recorded.

He reported that the Interterritorial Council of the National Health System agreed to establish an epidemiological alert traffic light according to two indicators.

On the one hand, it will take into account the number of infections per 100 thousand people: less than 25 cases will be considered low risk; more than 25 medium risk; more than 150 high risk and if more than 250 cases are exceeded, extreme risk will be presumed. The objective is to reach the low risk situation.

According to data released by the Ministry of Health, Spain currently suffers a cumulative incidence of 348 cases per 100 thousand inhabitants.

It will also review the degree of occupancy of hospital services and intensive care beds. It will be considered very high risk if the number of beds occupied by Covid-19 patients exceeds 15% in overall hospitalization and 25% in the case of Intensive Care Units.

The measures that the autonomous communities will adopt may range from reducing capacity by 75% at the low alert level, limiting meetings to 6 people at the medium level, up to the suspension of non-essential activities at the high alert level. . At the fourth level, exceptional measures will be taken that may require the establishment of a state of alarm.

Sánchez emphasized that “very hard months” are coming, but that resorting to new home confinement should be “avoided at all costs”, like the one experienced during the spring.

He asserted that if governments and society work together, the infection curve could be bent again, for which he demanded unity from citizens and political forces.

By Manuel de Santiago Freda / Correspondent in Spain

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