On Sunday, Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez asked the parliament to approve a last two-week extension of lockdown orders till June 21“to finish with the pandemic once and for all."
While talking at a press conference, Pedro Sanchez expressed relief over the dramatic decrease of COVID-19 cases in Spain-- which was one of the nations hardest-hit by the virus. “We have almost set out what we set out to do,” he said.
From June 21, the national state of emergency will come to an end and with it the lockdown, allowing citizens to move freely in their regions. From July 1, citizens will be able to move throughout the country.
On March 14, Spain had ordered a state of emergency which included a strict nationwide lockdown where citizens could only leave their homes to buy food, seek medical care or for jobs where they could not work from home. The ongoing state of emergency is set to reach its end on June 7.
Sanchez said that this final stretch of the lockdown will include the handing back of control over health care to the regions that have shown the most progress in containing the deadly virus. “We have almost reached the safe harbour,” he said.
On Sunday, the country reported 96 new cases of coronavirus, bringing the total tally to 239,429. Meanwhile, 2 deaths were reported with the death toll reaching 27,127, the health ministry said.
The novel virus, which originated in China last December, has so far infected more than 6 million worldwide. The outcome of the outbreak has been devastating for both human life and the global economy. The ensuing lockdown brought many business activities into a standstill, hence hitting the economy.
Now, Spain's main focus will be on maintaining the virus in check while reactivating an economy that Sanchez’s said will shrink by over 9% this year and take two years to recover.