On Saturday, April 4, 2020, Spanish Prime Minister (PM), Pedro Sanchez told reporters that he would seek parliament’s approval to extend national lockdown measures by 15 days until April 26, since the emergency has decreased the number of new virus-infected cases and fatal rate in the country. Spain’s coronavirus death toll has reached 11,744 on Saturday and is now following after the world’s worst-affected country, Italy.
National Lockdown in Spain
Sanchez, addressing the nation from a national TV, said that the current lockdown has resulted in slowing down the rate of the virus infections as well as the number of deaths from the virus. Considering to maintain the recent development, the PM warned that the state of emergency in the country might be extended and warned that Saturday’s extension of the country’s state of emergency would not be the last.
Declaring some economic restrictions would be lifted after Easter, the PM said, “We are at the start of the decrease in the epidemic. We are stronger than we think but we have to endure. With sacrifice, resistance and the spirit of victory,” Despite the closure of social spaces including shops, bars, and restaurants, he insisted, “We are not going to extend the standstill of economic activity.”
The Spanish Health Ministry on Saturday said that the death toll of the country reached 809 people during the past 24 hours, which was decreased from Friday’s 932 deaths as well as from Thursday’s daily record of 950. This means that the country witnessed a 7% increase in total deaths, as compared with the roughly 20% increase registered a week ago.
Referring to the challenges on the jointly issued debt by eurozone members, Sanchez also reiterated, “Nobody should be mistaken, the Spanish government is going to work for and defend and will never renounce Eurobonds because this is solidarity, this is Europe. The determination of the government is total and absolute.”
Restrictions on Madrid’s Orders
Maria Jose Sierra, the deputy head of Spain’s health emergency, explained that the figures of the virus-infection cases “confirm the downward trend we have seen in the last few days,” Still, she added that “there are many more light cases of coronavirus which are not included in our figures because we are concentrating on the most serious cases.”
Spain, having a positive sign as the virus cases declined, is still struggling to provide enough equipment for its overwhelmed hospitals and facing problems since Turkey had requisitioned the ventilators ordered by Madrid. Spanish Foreign Minister, Arancha Gonzalez told a news conference, “In recent days, the Turkish government has placed a series of restrictions on the export of a broad spectrum of health products, mainly motivated by its concern to be able to supply its own health system.”
Meanwhile, a Turkish diplomatic source told Reuters that Turkey and Spain “are working on the issue and it is being resolved”. The news was confirmed by the Spanish foreign minister and claimed in a tweet on Saturday that Turkey had dropped the restrictions. She exclaimed, “Thank you Turkey for authorizing the export of Turkish respirators … in view of the urgency in Spain.”
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