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Coronavirus: Spain declares state of emergency

Coronavirus threats forces Spanish government to declare state of emergency. This is meant to limit the movement of its citizens and to ration the use of services in an effort to reduce the spread of the virus.

The Spanish government announced that it was implementing a state of emergency for 15 days. Speaking during a press conference, Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez informed the Spanish public that the Cabinet would meet tomorrow to put the measure into effect, allowing the government to temporarily restrict the movement of citizens. Fundamental rights, however, will not be affected.

“We are only in the first phase of combatting the virus,” Sánchez said. “We have some very tough weeks ahead of us. We cannot rule out reaching 10,000 [infections] by next week.”

The state of alarm will allow for the maximum mobilization of resource against the virus but victory will depend on each citizen, Sanchez said, adding that everyone should take responsibility for preventing the spread of the virus by washing hands and staying indoors.

“We will overcome this emergency by relying on advice from science and with support from all or the resources of the state,” he continued. “But it is also undeniable that we will manage it sooner, and with the least human, economic and social damage possible if we do it together.”

With the state of emergency comes certain parameters set. These are;

  1. limiting the circulation or the presence of persons or vehicles at certain times and in certain places
  2. the temporary requisition of any kind of asset; the intervention of, and transitory occupation of, industries, factories, workshops, operations or commercial premises of any kind, with the exception of private households
  3. the limiting or rationing of the use of services or the consumption of essential items
  • The issuing of necessary orders in order to ensure supply to markets and the functioning of services in production centres for essential products.

There had been intense internal debates in recent days over the need to take greater steps in Spain in order to halt the spread of the Covid-19 disease given countries such as Portugal, had declared a state of alarm despite having far fewer coronavirus cases compared Spain.