The emergence of the coronavirus as a world health epidemic and the fear of its spread has left many countries declare state of emergency. There are 471,363 cases, 21,295 deaths and 114,642 confirmed recovered cases worldwide.
With the world struggling with the growing coronavirus crisis, the death toll from the virus in Spain has surpassed that of China. In just one day, the death toll rose by 738 to a total of 3,647. With its third high-ranking minister also diagnosed as positive for the virus, the country is now the second-highest globally, in the number of deaths caused by this novel coronavirus.
Nursing homes across the country have been overwhelmed by more and more cases. Madrid has confirmed the highest number of cases, and Catalonia in the northeast has seen a rapid increase in cases.
The Madrid ice rink is now surfing as a temporary mortuary. The ice rink, which was normally a popular place for children’s birthday parties, is now under police care. When you visit the place, you only see hearses when they arrive at the building.
Carmen Calvo, their deputy prime minister, has tested positive for the virus and is now the third cabinet member to be diagnosed with the virus.
The situation calls for an emergency, and Parliament last approved the extension of the 15-day state of emergency to 30 days during a session that lasted into late night, in which schools, restaurants and most shops are closed.
Through the support of the opposition party, the extension was guaranteed and the Spaniard remains at home until April 11th. Also, people are still not allowed to leave their homes unless to buy important things like medication.
The blockade began on March 14th, and most of the people were locked in their homes. The head of the emergency, Fernando Simon, told the press conference that social contact had been reduced almost entirely.
He also said to the conference that Spain was on the verge of the outbreak of the epidemic. The cases rose to 49,515 on Wednesday, but could be even higher.
The pandemic, like in other countries around the world, has continued to halt the economy and has confirmed that more than 137,000 workers have been taken off sick due to the virus. Others take quarantine precautions.
The blockade has also stopped sectors such as retail, tourism and manufacturing. El Corte Ingles, one of Spain’s largest employers, said he would fire 22,000 workers in his department stores.
While they struggle to contain the situation, thousands of medical personnel have filed lawsuits against the government and complained about the lack of basic protective equipment such as masks, scrubs, and gloves. This has made them vulnerable to infection when dealing with victims.
Spain has asked NATO through its army for ventilators, test kits and protective equipment, as confirmed by the head of the armed forces, Miguel Villarroya.
Health Minister Salvador Illa confirmed that the government has ordered masks, gloves, test kits and respirators worth € 432 million. The first large batch is expected for this week and the other for the next eight weeks.