Spain Shifts State of Emergency till April 12 as COVID-19 crisis amplifies

Spain awoke to the prospect of more lockdown on Thursday after parliament approved an extension to its state of emergency in the early hours of the morning following a mammoth session of debate.

Extended Lockdown

Parliament eventually voted to extend emergency measures, consisting of the state of lockdown that has observed people confined to their homes except for essential trips for food, medicine and work for a further 15 days until April 12.

A majority of 321 lawmakers voted in favor of the extension, while 28 refrained. The largest opposition party, the People’s Party, supported the measure.

“It is not easy to extend the state of emergency,” Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said in Parliament. “I am convinced the only efficient option against the virus is social isolation.”

Spain is fighting to cope with the rising coronavirus crisis as its death toll exceeded China’s on Wednesday with another 738 lives lost in a single day.

Scrambling for Protective Gears

The number of coronavirus cases in Spain amplified by ten times since the state of emergency was implemented on March 14, and the number of deaths by 30 to 3,434. Now, Spain has the second-highest number of deaths globally after Italy’s 6,820.

Nursing homes across the country have been crowded, and a skating rink situated in Madrid has been transformed into a makeshift morgue where hearses park outside the building, which is ideally a popular spot for birthday parties of children.

The government of the country is jostling to acquire protective equipment such as masks, scrubs, gloves, and ventilators.

The government has issued an order of 432 million euros ($471.4 million) worth of masks, gloves and testing kits in China, according to Health Minister Salvador Illa.

The country has also talked to NATO partners asking for protective gear and ventilators to treat patients.

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