Photo: Emilio Morenatti / dpa
For more than three months in the spring, the Spaniards lived in a state of alarm: almost all of them had to stay at home, and children were locked up.
The nightmare only ended in June.
On this Sunday, Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez will probably announce the return of the state of alarm, several Spanish media reports unanimously, citing government circles.
The corona crisis leaves him no choice.
Spain is more severely affected by the pandemic than almost any other country in Europe.
More than a million infected people have been registered so far.
The second wave started earlier in Spain than in the rest of the continent.
In September, those responsible were still hoping that it would weaken again sooner.
But now the number of infections is rising steeply again.
Initially, no return to full lockdown
Many Spaniards associate the word alert state with the trauma of spring.
He reminds her of the time when hundreds of deaths were announced on television every morning and even walking the dog was only allowed under certain conditions.
But the second alarm condition, that much is already certain, will be different for the Spaniards, at least initially.
Motorway in Barcelona in March: The second alarm condition will be different
Photo: Emilio Morenatti / dpa
Unlike in spring, more targeted restrictions are to be enforced this time; they are tough, but comparatively subtle compared to March and April.
So far, courts have conceded many measures that had already been adopted because there was no sufficient basis for them.
Regions could not impose a curfew or limit the number of people at private parties.
The state of alarm grants those in power these rights, it will at least eliminate this problem.
Ironically, it is the now regional governments that are pushing Sánchez to alert.
Regional governments with particularly conservative leadership complained in the summer that the central state was dictating the fight against the pandemic.
Every week, support in parliament dwindled.
At the end of June, the alarm status ended earlier than planned.
All right-of-center parties refused to support the minority government.
Pedr Sánchez in Parliament: Pressed on the state of alarm
PABLO BLAZQUEZ / AFP
The conservative Partido Popular is still fighting the state of alarm today.
But at least the right-wing liberal party Ciudadanos has corrected its course.
She is state-supporting.
Sánchez would have a majority again to extend the state of alarm after around two weeks.
This time, the regions should decide on the individual measures - no longer the central government.
That too has increased the acceptance of the alarm condition.
Catalonia has already announced that it will issue exit restrictions in Barcelona as soon as the government in Madrid allows it.
Hospitals fill up
The situation in Spanish hospitals shows how urgently stricter measures are needed.
The hospitals in parts of Spain are already overloaded.
In Catalonia, Andalusia as well as Castile and León, the number of corona patients is increasing particularly strongly.
Operations have to be postponed, and in some hospitals entire floors are being reserved for corona patients.
Doctors in some regions speculate about how long patients can be treated who do not have corona.
In the first wave, such patients were neglected for months, the doctors are now fighting to prevent this from happening again.
"Many intensive care units are full," says Ricard Ferrer, president of the Spanish Society for Intensive Care Medicine.
The situation reminded him more and more of that in the first wave.
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