December 1, 2020

Illa warns Madrid that a curfew “requires a state of alarm”, but is open to studying it with the communities



The Minister of Health, Salvador Illa, appeared after the council of ministers on Tuesday to report on the situation of the pandemic in Spain in Spain, “the second wave is no longer a threat, it is a reality.” The minister has confirmed that he will not extend the state of alarm over the Community of Madrid, which expires on Saturday. This Tuesday, The Community of Madrid has publicly requested that the Government help them to impose a ‘curfew’ in the region from midnight to six in the morning. “It is a measure that we have seen applied in some European countries,” Illa said, but recalled that “it requires a state of alarm.” In any case, “we are going to analyze it” with the communities, he has committed himself. Illa has commented on this request that with it “I confirm an evolution” in the perception of the pandemic “in accordance” with the situation in Madrid. “It is a decision that is far from being taken”, but “some other country has taken it.”

“If we decided to go down this path, it would be very important to know which groups would be willing to support it in the Congress of Deputies, specifically the Popular Party,” he later stressed. Because it would also be necessary “to extend it beyond 15 days, or at least have the possibility,” he recalled, so knowing the “political position” of the parties would be “very relevant.” The Government, as it has done on this last occasion, can decree it unilaterally, but to extend it beyond that period it needs the support of the parliamentary majority.

Illa intervenes in a press conference two days before the Interterritorial Council is held with all the Health Councilors in which it hopes to approve an agreement that establishes minimum thresholds of incidence, to be measured with other factors, from which measures are imposed common in each territory. The curfew in some cases could finally go into that document, although the draft leaked last week did not include it.. It was scheduled for Wednesday – the day that is usually celebrated – but has anticipated that this time it will be Thursday.

What Illa has asked for is the “effort” of all citizens for two things: limiting mobility and limiting contacts, “the two keys to stopping” COVID-19. In this way, he has defended, it can be controlled without taking “legal limitations”, although in some cases they are “necessary” as well. Next to Illa after the council of ministers was the minister spokesperson, María Jesús Montero. President Pedro Sánchez has traveled to Rome to meet with his Italian counterpart Giussepe Conte immediately after the meeting.

The minister has also announced that Spain has obtained authorization to close the contracts for the purchase of the vaccine that the European Commission has with the company AstraZeneca, developed by the University of Oxford. “If all goes well,” that is, if the vaccine passes all controls and deadlines are met, they will receive 3 million doses in December until reaching 31 in June, enough to vaccinate 15 million people. It will cost Spain between 56 and 76 million euros.

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