After Italy, Spain decided on Saturday to tighten the measures taken to fight the Covid-19 by ordering all employees working in non-essential sectors to stay at home for two weeks. This measure announced by the head of government Pedro Sanchez comes as the country recorded 832 deaths in 24 hours, according to the latest report published on Saturday, a new record bringing the total number of deaths to 5,690.
"All employees in non-essential activities will have to stay at home for the next two weeks", that is until Thursday, April 9, the start of the Easter weekend, said Mr. Sanchez. Health, food or energy in particular are considered essential activities. This measure will be approved Sunday at an extraordinary council of ministers.
The goal is to further reduce mobility and therefore the potential spread of the virus while the Spanish have already been subjected since mid-March to strict confinement which has been extended until April 11. Until now, they could only leave their home to work if teleworking was not possible, buy food, get medical treatment or get their dog out quickly. Employees who will have to stay at home from Monday will benefit from paid leave while their employer will make them recover later the hours not worked, explained Mr. Sanchez.
The peak of the curve almost reached
Spain, the second country with the most Covid-19 deaths in the world behind Italy, has resolved to follow the example of this country when the government of Mr. Sanchez had ruled out such a scenario in recent days. "All I can offer is sacrifice, resistance and a winning spirit," said Sanchez. Apart from an inflection on Thursday, the number of daily deaths continues to increase day by day in Spain.
The number of cases increased on Saturday from more than 8,000 in 24 hours, to 72,248, while the authorities decided to practice more and more tests. But, a positive note according to the authorities, the pace of the daily increase in the number of cases like that of the number of deaths has marked a slowdown in recent days.
"We are reaching the peak of the curve" of cases, and "in some areas of the country, we have probably passed it," said the director of the Center for Health Alerts, Fernando Simon. The number of people healed jumped by more than 30% in 24 hours to 12,285. But "we still have a major problem with the saturation of our intensive care units", where more than 4,500 patients are treated, added Dr. Simon.
New morgue in Madrid
"It's a total tsunami" in hospitals, told AFP Pablo Rodríguez, a 35-year-old radiologist at the Princesa hospital in Madrid. “I have already been told that I am next on the list to go and help with emergencies. It is like the front of a war, "he continued, indicating that masks were missing in his hospital, as were the protective suits that caregivers must reuse. The Madrid region remains the most affected in the country with 2,757 deaths, or almost half of the country's deaths, and 21,520 cases.
Faced with this explosion of deaths, the Madrid authorities will install on Monday a second temporary morgue in an unused public building in the suburbs of the capital, after having installed one in the ice rink of a shopping center. A field hospital has been set up for a week in the Madrid trade fair, which will eventually have 5,500 beds. In order to compensate for the cruel lack of protective equipment, the government has placed massive orders in China.
In total, the amount of orders placed in China so far amounts to 628 million euros which will make it possible to buy in particular 659 million masks for patients and more than 30 million for nursing staff.