The coronavirus has subjected the world to a health crisis that will mark an entire era. After exploding in China a few months ago, covid-19 has managed to spread to all continents, although it has been primed especially in Europe, already becoming the epicenter of infections. After frightening the Asian giant, Italy was the European power that received the greatest onslaught of cases, although these have multiplied exponentially in Spain in the last days to the point of decree the state of alarm. These are the most relevant data of this day.
Figures of infected and deceased in Spain
The Spanish Ministry of Health confirmed this Sunday a total of 28,572 coronavirus cases in the country, of which 3,646 are new, 14.6% more, and there are already 1,720 deceased, 394 more than on Saturday, with an increase of 29.7%.
According to official data, there are also 1,785 patients in the ICU, intensive care units, and 2,575 patients have already recovered. In any case, it should be borne in mind that as regards the number of infected, the Health data is usually somewhat lower than the real data, since the regional departments always have more up-to-date data.
After Madrid, Catalonia and the Basque Country are the communities with the most infections:
The Council of Ministers has approved an economic and social shock plan to cope with the coronavirus crisis in Spain, which includes a set of economic emergency measures. The total cost will be around 200,000 million euros, as reported by the Government of Pedro Sánchez. These are the 10 most outstanding measures:
Mortgage moratorium. Approval of a moratorium on the payment of mortgages to people who have reduced their income or are unemployed due to the coronavirus.
Payment of supplies. Moratorium on the payment of basic supplies (water, electricity and gas) to vulnerable groups.
Social bonus. Automatic extension until September of the social bonus to beneficiary households.
Attention to elderly and dependent people. Creation of a specific contingency fund to reinforce care for the elderly, homeless and in nursing homes and dependents. Some 300 million euros will be allocated.
Flexibility of municipal spending. Relaxation of the spending rule so that municipalities can use their surplus if they invest it in social care items such as care for dependency, social services and all kinds of social problems associated with the coronavirus crisis. Some 300 million euros will be allocated.
ERTE authorization. The ERTE authorization process (temporary employment regulation files) will be streamlined. They will be considered made by force majeure and will be handled quickly.
Collection of unemployment in case of ERTE. Unemployment benefit guarantee in case of ERTE. All workers affected by these procedures will have the right to collect unemployment even if they do not meet the minimum contribution period required for it. In addition, the time the perception of this benefit lasts (counter to zero) will not be considered consumed.
Extension of unemployment benefit. Automatic extension of unemployment benefits. No one will lose their rights because they cannot go to the employment offices.
Boost to telework. Facilitate teleworking through an “important” allocation to companies for the purchase of computers, while allowing workers to adapt or reduce their workday to care for their dependents, making it possible to reduce 100% of the day.
Help with family care. Right to family care for all workers without being sanctioned or dismissed (reduction of working hours even up to 100% or reorganization for family care up to second grade – grandchildren and grandparents-).
The Government of Spain has established the control of land borders to decrease the risk of spread of the coronavirus. The restriction will last until the alarm state ends. Until that time, only Spanish citizens, residents of Spain, cross-border workers, and those who document documentary reasons of force majeure or situation of need can access the national territory.
The closure of land borders will not affect the transport of goods to secure the supply chain. Nor to members of diplomatic and consular offices. Spaniards who are out of the country at this time may return. It does not affect Gibraltar or Andorra.
Closed colleges, institutes and universities
Nurseries, schools, institutes and universities remain closed throughout Spain at least during the period of validity of the state of alarm (until Sunday March 29), although it is very likely that this period should be extended.
Situation in China and other countries
While in China the thrust of the coronavirus begins to subside, in the second great epicenter of the disease, Italy, the data have not yet given rise to hope. The latest information indicates that the number of infected continues to grow rapidly.
The Ministry of Defense of China said Tuesday, March 17, in a statement that it had “successfully” developed a vaccine against the new SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which causes covid-19 pneumonia, and has authorized human tests, although he did not specify when such trials would begin.
According to the research team, led by epidemiologist Chen Wei, the vaccine has been developed in line with “international standards and local regulations” and is prepared to carry out “large-scale, safe and effective production.”