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Spain declares emergency as COVID-19 rages through Europe

'The reality is that Europe and Spain are immersed in a second wave of the pandemic.'

Posted: Oct 25, 2020 11:42 AM

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Buckling under the resurgence of the coronavirus in Europe, the Spanish government on Sunday declared a national state of emergency that includes an overnight curfew in hopes of not repeating the near collapse of the country's hospitals.

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said the decision to restrict free movement on the streets of Spain between 11 p.m.-6 a.m. allows exceptions for commuting to work, buying medicine, and caring for elderly and young family members. He said the curfew takes effect Sunday night and would likely remain in place for six months.

“The reality is that Europe and Spain are immersed in a second wave of the pandemic,” Sánchez said during a nationwide address after meeting with his Cabinet. “The situation we are living in is extreme.”

The leaders of Spain’s 17 regions and two autonomous cities will have authority to modify the curfew in their territory to start between 10:00-12:00 p.m. and end between 5:00-7:00 a.m., close regional borders to travel, and limit gatherings to six people who don’t live together, the prime minister said.

The curfew does not apply to Spain’s Canary Islands, which were recently removed from Britain’s and Germany’s list of unsafe travel destinations due to the favorable trajectory of the virus on the archipelago.

With the mainland curfew, Spain is following the example of neighboring France, where the government ordered a 9 p.m.-6 a.m. curfew for major cities and large swaths of the country this week.

Health officials have been targeting nightlife and partying as some of the main sources for the latest revival of infections.

Sánchez said he will ask Parliament's lower house this week to extend the state of emergency until May. As dictated by the Constitution, a state of emergency can last no longer than two weeks without the endorsement of the Congress of Deputies.

Spain's second nationwide emergency of the pandemic is not as restrictive as the mandatory home confinement that Sánchez ordered in March and lasted for six weeks before being gradually relaxed as the number of new confirmed cases fell.

“There is no home confinement in this state of emergency, but the more we stay at home, the safer we will be. Everyone knows what they have to do,” the prime minister said Sunday.

Authorities want to avoid a second complete shutdown of the country of 47 million inhabitants to avoid dealing another heavy blow to an economy that the pandemic has plunged into recession and destroyed hundreds of thousands of jobs.

But with the infection rate gaining steam ever since it started rising again in August, health experts have clamored for action at the national level, arguing that the crisis requires more than a patchwork of regional measures.

Several regional leaders, who run Spain's decentralized health care system, had asked in recent days for the national government to declare a national state of emergency.

The state of emergency makes it easier for authorities to take swift action without having to get many types of public health restrictions approved by a judge. Some judges have rejected efforts to limit people's movements in certain regions, causing confusion among the public.

Spain this week became the first European country to surpass 1 million officially recorded COVID-19 cases. Sánchez acknowledged Friday in a nationally televised address that the true figure could be more than 3 million, due to gaps in testing and other factors.

Spain on Friday reported almost 20,000 new daily cases and 231 more deaths, taking the country’s death toll in the pandemic to 34,752, but the true death toll is likely much higher. Confirmed cases are rising across the peninsula, the Balearic Islands, and Spain’s two African enclaves.

Under the first state of emergency, Spain’s military battalions were deployed to disinfect retirement homes and set up field hospitals. So far, this has not been necessary with Spain’s retirement homes better prepared and its hospitals seeing a slower, if steady, uptick in cases.

“The loss of life must be as low as possible, but we also must protect our economy,” Sánchez said.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 338973

Reported Deaths: 3904
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin711921153
Ramsey29902526
Dakota23961202
Anoka23888238
Washington15094125
Stearns14679126
St. Louis9771126
Scott909461
Wright864248
Olmsted723237
Sherburne627247
Clay535562
Carver519215
Kandiyohi450430
Rice438439
Blue Earth436217
Crow Wing389540
Otter Tail346426
Chisago338117
Benton326356
Nobles317134
Winona300632
Douglas288241
Mower279123
Polk275229
Morrison251531
McLeod240121
Lyon236312
Beltrami234518
Goodhue226333
Becker224721
Steele21478
Itasca210624
Isanti206919
Carlton205618
Todd191714
Nicollet174926
Mille Lacs166034
Freeborn16517
Le Sueur160612
Brown158915
Cass154712
Meeker149012
Pine14838
Waseca145311
Roseau13357
Martin127322
Hubbard121329
Wabasha11431
Redwood106620
Chippewa9999
Renville98630
Cottonwood9674
Dodge9401
Watonwan9184
Wadena8797
Sibley8484
Rock84710
Houston8134
Aitkin81030
Fillmore7780
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Pennington7339
Yellow Medicine71612
Kanabec70914
Swift65610
Murray6265
Faribault6223
Pope5811
Clearwater56510
Marshall55010
Jackson5461
Stevens5444
Lake4578
Wilkin4325
Koochiching4286
Lac qui Parle4254
Unassigned41659
Lincoln3901
Norman3758
Big Stone3482
Mahnomen3255
Grant3066
Kittson2589
Red Lake2363
Traverse1592
Lake of the Woods1091
Cook830

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 240163

Reported Deaths: 2633
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk35388352
Linn14908170
Scott1196795
Black Hawk11350149
Woodbury10820140
Johnson993840
Dubuque9547100
Story707625
Pottawattamie692676
Dallas669860
Sioux386929
Webster381739
Cerro Gordo375552
Marshall363551
Clinton351046
Buena Vista318814
Muscatine311672
Des Moines306323
Warren300617
Plymouth293845
Wapello269872
Jones238419
Jasper233346
Lee231621
Marion215324
Carroll206426
Bremer204113
Henry19718
Crawford184316
Benton176923
Tama158042
Jackson152717
Washington152116
Delaware149022
Boone148012
Dickinson146312
Mahaska136028
Wright13297
Clay12806
Buchanan125110
Hardin124512
Hamilton120715
Kossuth12009
Page11995
Clayton117610
Cedar116014
Harrison114932
Floyd112923
Mills112210
Fayette111812
Calhoun11027
Winneshiek109714
Butler108511
Lyon108210
Poweshiek104314
Iowa102014
Cherokee9784
Winnebago96625
Hancock9308
Chickasaw9246
Sac9189
Allamakee91213
Louisa90822
Grundy90014
Union8668
Cass86126
Mitchell84610
Appanoose83414
Humboldt8286
Shelby81514
Guthrie80115
Emmet79426
Jefferson7766
Franklin76821
Madison7585
Unassigned7230
Palo Alto6795
Keokuk6718
Pocahontas6064
Howard5889
Ida56016
Osceola5512
Greene5472
Montgomery53111
Clarke5144
Davis50011
Taylor4823
Adair47210
Monroe46913
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