Spain will soon start the process of de-escalation of the current lockdown measures in place to mitigate the novel coronavirus pandemic in the country, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said today, as he asked Parliament to approve his request to extend the country’s state of emergency until April 26.
“We have reached the peak and now the de-escalation begins,” Sanchez told a nearly empty Spanish Parliament Thursday, as most lawmakers are working from home.
He cautioned however, that return to normal life would be “gradual”, in line with the severity of the current health crisis.
“The climb has been difficult, as the descent will also be.”
“We are facing the biggest threat to the planet’s public health since the flu of 1918,” Sanchez said, explaining that the resumption of normal activity would only happen in phases. “The last thing we should allow is a step backwards because that would be more than a setback” but “it would be a rebound”, for the virus.
The head of the Spanish government went on to say that “Europe cannot afford to look the other way,” when it comes to the novel coronavirus and called on MPs to unite and advocate for a united European response to the crisis. “The European Union is in danger if there is no solidarity against the virus.”
The Spanish Prime Minister told opposition MPs that his government is “working on a plan” to slowly bring the country back into some form or “normality” but warned: “We can’t even know what kind of normality we’re returning to.”
Spain has been the world's second most heavily affected country by the coronavirus pandemic so far, after the US. Almost 150,000 confirmed cases of the virus have been detected and the death toll currently stands at 14,792.