• A near empty Congress approves extention to the state of alarm until April 11

The Prime Minister appeared before the Lower House yesterday evening to request that the state of alarm be prolonged until 11 April, Easter Sunday, along with the measures of confinement originally adopted in Spain almost two weeks ago.

Pedro Sánchez insisted that “we must beat the virus without leaving anyone behind”, so the government’s decisions try to balance social confinement with the maximum preservation of economic activities and assets that will allow life to resume “once the nightmare comes to an end.”

The prime minister said that “we have shut ourselves in to protect ourselves from the spread of the and to safeguard others as well, as well as to allow time so that hospitals can absorb the number of patients that they admit and researchers find effective medications to treat the disease”.

He said, “We not only have to flatten the curve in the shortest possible time, but try to avoid future outbreaks and anticipate future threats.”

Sanchez also requested, in addition to time, unity and institutional loyalty, so that people can recover their lives and rebuild the common wellbeing. “We will persevere in unity as a response to the sacrifice we ask of the public who remain in their homes, and to the courage of those who fight the virus on our behalf,” he said.

He asked for solidarity with the Community of Madrid, who have been most affected by the pandemic, and with all other autonomous communities that need it: “From the most remote municipality to the Government of Spain, from every citizen in his confinement, even each nurse and doctor, we suffer the same anguish before a phenomenon that we have never experienced nor even imagined.”

“No public official is endowed with superhuman powers,” he added, “but we are very fortunate to have available the skills of many remarkable people as well as the scientific advice of the best professionals,” before concluding: “It only remains to add these two factors to our spirit of union and our will to achieve victory.”

He praised the more than 350,000 professionals in the National Health System for their “tireless” work, the staff of the Coordination Centre for Health Alerts and Emergencies for their “professionalism, dedication and commitment”, and the State Security Forces and the Armed Forces for their support, “like never before”, for the installation of temporary infrastructures, food distribution as well as disinfection tasks in public facilities and nursing homes.

The Prime Minister also dedicated his address to remembering the victims of the disease and their families, to whom he has expressed his support. He has assured those who remain ill in hospitals or at home that “their recovery is the highest priority to us all.”

The Prime Minister said that all the measures contained in the Royal are aimed at achieving three objectives: strengthening the health system and anticipating possible threats that guarantee health security; mitigate the economic consequences and laying the foundations for a recovery that will allow the country to be rebuilt in the shortest possible time; and finally, protecting all citizens, guaranteeing their right to life in decent conditions.

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