In the early hours of the morning, around 2:00am, the Congress of Deputies has approved the extension of Spain’s current state of alarm until April 11 in order to battle against the coronavirus crisis.
The plenary session lasted 11 hours in total and was scattered with harsh criticism from the opposition towards the Prime Minister Sanchez and his administration, for being “too late” in his response to the crisis and not having taken “drastic” measures.
Sanchez called for “unity” and “loyalty” as parties would have time after Spain recovers from this crisis to oppose and argue with the government.
During this debate Congress validated five other royal decree laws related to: large unemployment figures, ‘time taken off work’, necessary measures within the agricultural and food sector, and the package of economic and social measures implemented by the government in recent weeks.
Sanchez has defended his decision by stating that the “isolation and confinement” of the population is Spain’s “only option” to combat COVID-19. A virus which has already gained “power” through an “overwhelming number of infections”, which have already surpassed the 50,000 mark and claimed more than 4,000 lives.
However, Sanchez recognises that “it is not easy” to request, approve and comply with measures in this scenario. He argues that isolation is the only way to “save time” so that “hospitals can assimilate the number of patients arriving” whilst scientist research into developing drugs and vaccines that protect the population.