La Opinion 18/04/2020 Sanchez
Sánchez will request another extension of the state of emergency but with limited outings for children from April 27
The confinement will remain until next May 9, although the little ones will be able to go out in a week with an adult and precautions. The Prime Minister has admitted that one cannot go “to phase two, to de-escalation” because the achievements are “insufficient but above all fragile”
The President of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sánchez, has announced this Saturday that he will ask Congress to extend the state of emergency with the confinement of the population due to the coronavirus pandemic until next May 9, although with relief for children.
The little ones will be able to go out briefly, accompanied by an adult and with precautionary measures, starting on April 27, Sánchez explained in a televised appearance.
The Spanish socialist leader has praised the “exemplary response” of the population “in this extreme situation”, respecting the confinement order in progress since March 14 and with which “we have saved tens of thousands of lives”.
Despite the progress made, Sánchez has admitted that one cannot go “to phase two, to de-escalation” because the achievements are “insufficient but above all fragile, and we cannot put them at risk with hasty decisions.”
However, he commented that the new extension of the state of emergency will not be like the previous ones: “We will be in different states of emergency. The progress of these five weeks allows us to make decisions and glimpse those decisions,” he said.
Thus, Spain must continue to comply with the six guidelines set by the World Health Organization to achieve the “new normal”, measures such as having those infected by the coronavirus controlled and identified or that the health system is in a “condition” to detect each new case.
This was said by the Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, who has listed the six guidelines that the World Health Organization says must be met in order to reach “normality”.
In the first place, Sánchez explained, in relation to the transmission, those affected will have to be “controlled and identified.” “We are walking in the right direction to achieve it,” he added.
This first measure is followed by the obligation for the health system to be “in a position to detect every case of infection with tests” so that each new infected person can be “isolated” and people who may have been infected warned.
“We have carried out almost a million tests and we have supplied two million rapid tests to the regional authorities to utilise them in those places where there may be a potential contagion, such as hospitals or nursing homes. We have doubled the daily tests, from 20,000 to 40,000 per day to achieve this goal of the WHO, “he reported.
Also, according to the WHO, Spain should “have under control” the places with the highest risk of infection and maximum vulnerability (hospitals, residences …).
Fourth, as Sánchez has been enumerating, a control system for people from other areas must be implemented to avoid new imported infections; and the fifth guideline refers to Spain’s duty to “establish strict preventive measures in workplaces and in training places such as educational centres”.
A task that Sánchez has said that the government will do “hand in hand” with the social agents and with the regional authorities, in relation to educational centres.
Finally, the Spanish population “ultimately” must have “complete information”, as well as they must be “committed” to hygiene rules and social distance.
“We already do this and it is the commitment of Spanish society, which is being exemplary. I have no doubt that we are going to achieve the objectives set and we are going to continue to comply with that social discipline. Today we are on the path of fulfilling these obligations, and it is not possible to lift the measures and go to phase two of de-escalation, “he said.
He also assured that 42 percent of those diagnosed have already overcome COVID-19, one of the highest rates in the affected countries.
This Saturday, in addition, the Ministry of Health has reported 565 new deaths from coronavirus in the last 24 hours, reaching a total of 20,043 (2.9% more), and 4,499 new infections, with which there are already 191,726 (1.9% more) people who have been infected in our country since the beginning of the crisis.
“Reconstruction is the word that must unite us all”
Sánchez has also indicated that he will strive “from the heart” to promote the economic and social union of Spain once the hardest phase of the pandemic has been overcome, and has extended his offer to political parties, public administrations, institutions and social agents to tackle the reconstruction of the country. “Reconstruction is the word that must unite us all,” he stressed.
“It is a situation that no one under the age of 90 has known about,” Sánchez emphasized, citing the recent IMF report as an example, which paints a “bleak” world picture with the greatest declines in GDP since the Great Depression, and for Spain, the biggest drop in growth since the Civil War. “We are going to meet the ravages of a war that we wage without bombs,” he warned.
According to Sánchez, two ways are opened to confront this situation and that will define the country in the coming years or decades: either division and discouragement or join forces to undertake the reconstruction effort together.
“I am going to strive from the heart to promote the economic and social union of our country. The virus is fought with unity and sacrifice, that is why days ago I proposed some pacts for social and economic reconstruction. All forces should join, but also regional authorities, city councils and other administrations, and extend to an agreement with the social agents”, has indicated.
The president has revealed that he has found a “receptive” response in the first round of contacts with most of the political forces, and has stressed that the municipalities will be “key” actors in the task of de-escalation and reconstruction. “There is only one way, consensus, dialogue and unity. Let us give the best of ourselves. Spain is diverse and plural, one of our main strengths. Reconstruction: a word that should unite us all,” he stressed.
Relaunch the business fabric
As detailed, reconstruction must cover four areas: rebuilding and strengthening the health system; the second, in the economic field, will include proposals for financial, fiscal and administrative actions to rebuild and relaunch the business fabric and the sectors most affected by the pandemic (industry, tourism, hospitality and culture), as well as the creation of employment, with “special attention” to small and medium-sized enterprises, self-employed workers and the social economy.
The third area is the articulation of social protection measures, and the fourth, the adoption of a joint position of the country before negotiations in the European Union.
“There is no future without unity. The same task we have in Spain we have to demand externally”, Sánchez said, to ensure that the position of the Government of Spain with respect to Europe is “firm.” “Europe includes all of us and now is the time to show it,” he said.
The President has indicated that the meetings with the European leaders are beginning to bear fruit, although sometimes they represent a “tense pulse”, and he pointed out that “it would be unforgivable” if the European Union were not up to the task.
He appreciated the announcement by the President of the European Commission, Úrsula Von der Layen, that every euro in the Budget of the European Commission will be used to save lives, and has called on European leaders to continue advancing at the planned European Council meeting for April 23.
“Spain must not remain unprotected and Europe must not allow populism to spread its message of hatred towards the Union. We are going to recover. Just as we united in the beginning to stop the country, so we will move forward, united,” he stressed.
With regard to the approval of the minimum living income expected for the month of May, he has stressed that this is yet more effort to leave no one behind and a record-time work exercise, an innovation in public policy, as it was a benefit in a composite state where some regions have a similar initiative, which adds a complexity to its design.