Madrid: Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Saturday that he will ask Congress to extend the blocking measures by 15 days to April 26 because of the new coronavirus infection and death in one of the world’s most affected countries.
Sanchez said in a televised speech that the current blockade is beginning to yield results, but he warned that the extension of the state of emergency will not be the last time on Saturday.
“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,” he said, adding that some economic restrictions would be lifted after Easter.
“We are not going to extend the standstill of economic activity,” he said. Shops, bars and restaurants will, however, remain closed.
Sanchez also reiterated his support for the launch of jointly issued debt by euro zone members as a way to counter the coronavirus economic impact, an idea championed by Spain and Italy but rejected by Germany and other northern EU members.
“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,” he said.
On Saturday, the number of coronavirus deaths in Spain rose to 11,744, second only to Italy, and second in the world. However, the Department of Health said that 809 people died in the past 24 hours, which is below the 932 deaths on Friday and also below Thursday’s daily record of 950 people.
This means that the total number of deaths has increased by 7%, while the number of deaths has increased by about 20% a week ago.
The total number of registered infections rose from 117,710 last Friday to 124,736 on Saturday, putting Spain ahead of Italy, which reported 124,632 infections on Saturday.