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COVID 19: Sanchez seeks to increase Spain coronavirus state of emergency


Spain's government will seek to increase its coronavirus state of emergency for the last time until late June, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has said, because the country's daily price reached a near eight-week low.

"The Spanish government will ask parliament to approve a replacement extension of the state of emergency ... it might be the last state of emergency and would continue until the top of the rollback," Sanchez said during a televised address on Saturday.

"For that reason ... rather than being a 15-day [extension], it'll be for a few month," he added.

The lockdown was first declared on March 14 to slow the spread of the virus in Spain.

Officials say while the outbreak has been brought largely in check , restrictions must stay in situ longer because the lockdown is gradually phased out.

The country's COVID-19 price rose by 102 to 27,563 on Saturday, rock bottom 24-hour increase since March 18. Confirmed coronavirus cases climbed to 230,698 from 230,183, the health ministry said.

Sanchez said if Spain had followed a "herd immunity" strategy - allowing the virus to freely circulate to let the population develop mass immunity - deaths and infections could are vastly higher.

"If we had taken this path, the amount of individuals infected could are quite 30 million. And it could have cost the lives of around 300,000 people," he said.

Renewed fourfold , the state of emergency has let the govt impose a number of the world's tightest restrictions on Spain's nearly 47 million population, although it's since begun a cautious rollback.

Since May 11, half Spain's population has experienced an easing of the restrictions, with cafe terraces reopening and other people allowed to satisfy in groups of up to 10 people.

And by Monday, three-quarters of the population are going to be ready to enjoy such freedoms although these measures haven't yet been unrolled within the worst-hit areas like the Madrid region and Barcelona.

The government's decision to stay Madrid within the so-called "preparatory phase zero" has provoked a backlash from the regional authorities who have accused the central government of playing politics and even threatened to require action .

Despite calls to restart the economy, with particular emphasis on tourism, which accounts for 12 percent of Spain's GDP, Sanchez defended the government's cautious approach.

"If we go too fast, and that we make a wrong move, we could risk jeopardising the international credibility that has taken us decades to create up," he said.

And Sanchez didn't rule out an extra appeal to the eurozone's rescue fund, the ecu Stability Mechanism (ESM).

"If the Spanish government must use this, it'll do so, " he said.

The last time Sanchez's government sought to increase the measure, he faced a wave of opposition from his right-wing opponents who pledged to dam the move, although it had been ultimately passed.

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