The Spanish government is to extend the Coronavirus State of Emergency Alert beyond its initial 15 days said the Minister of Transport, Mobility and the Urban Agenda, José Luis Ábalos this Monday.
The lockdown was implemented on Saturday night to prevent the spread of the virus. However, Ábalos believes that it is not sufficiently long enough and could also mean further 'severe measures' to get the outbreak under control.
In an interview with RNE he said, "It is evident that we will have to extend this situation, we will see with what measures, but in 15 days I do not think that we are capable of winning this battle.
“It is evident that we do not have an absolute calendar. But if we do not take especially harsh measures to stop the spread of the virus and therefore the impact on health and life, it would have no effect," he said.
He went on to say that any additional measures would be dependent on how effective the latest measures had been. He added, “If we are all responsible and act according to requirements and do not trivialise the situation, but rather we share the responsibility and are united in the face of the pandemic, obviously they will have more effect,” he added.
Although the current measures are not expected to have an instant impact on the current rate of infections, Ábalos insisted that the government would continue to monitor the effectiveness of the measures on an ongoing basis.
He concluded, "I do not think that in 15 days we will be able to win this battle".
Since Saturday evening, 47 million of the country's citizens have been on lockdown with people only allowed to leave their homes to go to work, to the pharmacy or a hospital.
Today, the government will meet to discuss other measures including the possibility of shutting down Spain's borders.
Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska told Cadena Ser that the closure of the country's borders was an option that was being considered.
When asked if closing Spain's borders was a possibility, he said: “It’s a possibility, of course, it’s a real option to fight against the spread of the virus.”
Spain currently has the fifth-largest number of Covid-19 infections in the world behind China, Italy, Iran and South Korea. As of Monday 16th of March, the Spanish Ministry of Health has reported 7,844 cases with 293 deaths with numbers increasing daily.
You can follow all the latest updates on the Coronavirus in Spain here https://www.healthplanspain.com/blog/health-news/891-coronavirus-spain-latest-news-and-updates.html
Image Credit: La Moncloa