12th August 2020
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Coronavirus in Spain full update (8 April)

Report updated in Spain at 20h on Wednesday 8 April.

Official figures released by the Spanish Health Ministry at 11.30am on Wednesday 8 April confirm 146,690 known cases of Coronavirus (Covid-19) in Spain, 6,180 more than yesterday – another increase after the previous downward trend in the rate of new infections.

Tuesday had seen an increase of 5,478 confirmed cases over Monday – and Monday had seen a further 4,273 over Sunday. On Sunday there had been an increase of 6,023 confirmed cases over Saturday.

14,555 people have now died from the pandemic in Spain (up by 757 from yesterday – another increase against the recent downward trend).

Tuesday had been an increase of 743 over Monday, whilst Monday had seen the lowest daily increase in deaths (637) since 24 March.

48,021 people have now made a full recovery, which is 4,813 more than yesterday.

Of the official figures announced, 42,450 confirmed cases are known to be in the Madrid region, and where 5,586 have died (from the total 14,555 across the country).

Coronavirus Spain
Official figures for 8 April.

There are now 29,647 cases in Catalonia (3,041 deaths), 9,452 in the Basque Country (635 deaths), 8,997 in Andalusia (605), 11,788 in Castilla La Mancha (1,255) and 7,655 in Valencia (724).

Figures for those infected with Coronavirus in other regions are as follows: Aragón 3,549 (349 deaths), Asturias 1,705 (102 deaths), Balearic Islands 1,412 (89), Canary Islands 1,762 (91), Cantabria 1,572 (92), Castilla y León 10,058 (1,028), Ceuta 84 (4), Extremadura 2,184 (271), Galicia 6,538 (213), Melilla 93 (2), Murcia 1,326 (85), Navarra 3,467 (206) and La Rioja 2,951 (177).

The true number of deaths from Coronavirus in Spain could be higher, since health authorities have admitted that only those who died after testing positive have been included in the official death toll.

Some regional authorities have warned that the number of death certificates issued, particularly for those who have died in residential homes, is higher than the official death toll.

Catalan health department
An image tweeted by the Catalan health department (@salutcat), stating that the ‘human treatment and the warmth provided during these days by health workers to patients is as important as the medical care’.

ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (7 April)

GLOBAL OVERVIEW

China has ended its Coronavirus lockdown measures in Wuhan, 11 weeks after it became the epicentre of what has since developed into a global pandemic. Up to 55,000 people are expected to leave Wuhan on Wednesday just by train, according to government estimates.

In the United States, known Coronavirus infections approached 400,000 on Tuesday, with the number of deaths now more than 12,700 following a record 24-hour jump of more than 1,800 nationwide.

New York accounted for more than a third of the confirmed cases in the USA to date, and nearly half the total death toll – 5,489 as of Tuesday.

The steps to curb the pandemic have battered the USA economy, as unemployment soars. President Donald Trump reiterated at a White House briefing on Tuesday that he wanted to reopen the US economy ‘soon’.

‘We want to get it open soon, that’s why I think maybe we’re getting to the very top of the curve,’ he said.

With regards the World Health Organization (WHO), Trump also threatened to cut off USA funding, accusing it of bias towards China during the pandemic.

Trump also said that the UK has asked the USA for 200 ventilators to help combat Coronavirus.

Founder and CEO of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, has pledged a $1bn fund to the fight the Coronavirus pandemic. He has stated that the fund, being set up from his shares, represents around 28% of his wealth. ‘After we have disarmed this pandemic,’ he said the fund would also focus on ‘girls health and education, and research into universal basic income’.

In the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, 55, has been for a third day in an intensive care unit at St.Thomas’ Hospital in London, after being admitted to hospital late on Sunday. He was moved into an intensive care unit on Monday evening after his condition had ‘worsened’.

During Wednesday, his condition was said to be ‘improving’ snd he was ‘sitting up in bed’ and ‘engaging with doctors’ in intensive care.

Johnson has asked the UK’s Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab to deputise for him during this period. On Tuesday Raab insisted that it was too soon to say whether the social distancing measures introduced on 23 March in the UK for an initial three-week period would be eased after Easter.

‘I understand the prime minister is in a stable condition, he’s comfortable and in good spirits,’ Edward Argar, a junior health minister, told Sky News. ‘He has in the past had some oxygen but he’s not on ventilation.’

Confirmed cases of Coronavirus in the UK rose to 60,733 on Wednesday. There have now been 7,097 deaths. Jimmy Greaves, the England football legend, is also in hospital receiving treatment for Coronavirus.

European Union finance ministers have failed to agree on a bailout plan to help the harder-hit EU countries deal with the Coronavirus outbreak, after Italy refused to abandon its plea for ‘coronabonds’ to share the burden.

‘After 16 hours of discussions, we came close to a deal but we are not there yet. I suspended the Eurogroup and [we will] continue tomorrow, Thursday,’ said Eurogroup chief Mario Centeno.

The EU is facing a North-South split on how to share the economic burden for the worst affected countries from Covid-19, especially Italy and Spain.

CORONAVIRUS in SPAIN

Current ‘state of alarm’ lockdown

The current ‘state of alarm’ in Spain is to be extended until 26 April, subject to an official vote in the Spanish Congress this Thursday 9 April.

Spain initially started its lockdown for two weeks from 14 March, with measures that confined everyone to their homes apart from leaving to purchase food or medication, or to go to their place of work only if they could not perform their duties from home. The measures were then extended by the Spanish Congress until 12 April.

From Monday 30 March, further new measures ordered all non-essential workers in Spain to also remain at home until Thursday 9 April inclusive, thereby only returning to work after the Easter weekend (Friday 10 and Monday 13 April are holidays in most regions of Spain).

Spanish Congress
The sparsely occupied Spanish Congress on 18 March 2020. (Photo Congreso.es)

Suggestions of new ‘Moncloa Pact’

When the Spanish Congress meets this Thursday 9 April to debate and vote on the extension to the current ‘state of alarm’, there will also be another subject on the agenda – the idea of a new ‘Moncloa Pact’.

The Moncloa Pact of 1977, named for the Spanish prime minister’s official residence, the Moncloa Palace in Madrid, saw political parties, the business community and trade unions agree on a plan to solve Spain’s economic problems and help its transition from a dictatorship under Franco to a modern democracy.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez – who is already leading a coalition government between his PSOE socialist party and the left-wing Podemos group – referred to a new Moncloa Pact over the weekend, proposing broad, cross-party consensus to deal with the current Coronavirus crisis that has pushed Spain’s health system to its limits and that will end up costing tens of billions of euros.

ALSO READ: Pedro Sánchez names his cabinet: four deputy PMs and 18 other ministers

Since then, members of the Spanish cabinet have been pushing the idea of a new Moncloa Pact, such as Transport Minister José Luis Ábalos, who said that the offer to join his government in a repetition of the historic agreement ‘is open to everyone’.

Describing the current crisis as a ‘challenge that is equally important’ as the one Spain faced in the 1970s, Ábalos called on all parties, including the pro-independence parties in Catalonia, to show ‘unity of action’ and ‘democratic commitment’.

Cleaning Spanish Congress
An employee at the Spanish Congress cleaning the speakers’ stand on 18 March 2020. (Photo via Twitter / the Podemos party @podem_cat)

Spanish Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska also argued for a new Moncloa Pact to help bring about ‘social and economic reconstruction’ once the health crisis is over, insisting: ‘It won’t be easy but if it could be done in 1977, it can also be done now.’

Sánchez’s partner in government, the left-wing Podemos group led by Pablo Iglesias – who is also the second deputy prime minister in the cabinet – also supports the idea. Iglesias has pledged to ‘reach out to all political parties’ in bringing about ‘major consensus in Spain’ to provide a common front to face the crisis.

For such cross-party agreement to succeed, Sánchez will also have to bring on board the main opposition party in Spain, the right-wing People’s Party (PP), led by Pablo Casado.

Although Casado recently stated that Sánchez will have ‘the support of the PP for the containment measures against Coronavirus’, with regards an extension of the current ‘state of alarm’ lockdown in Spain, he has also accused Sánchez of ‘improvising’ and that his handling of the Coronavirus crisis has been an ‘explosive cocktail of arrogance, incompetence and lies’.

With regards the idea of a new Moncloa Pact, PP leader Casado has said that the idea from Sánchez ‘doesn’t sound very sincere’, and he also pointed out that Sánchez had not contacted him about it, despite the PP providing its support in the current crisis.

Meanwhile, the idea of a new Moncloa Pact has been received with more enthusiasm by other parties in the Spanish parliament, with Inés Arrimadas, head of the Ciudadanos (Cs) party, claiming that the original idea was hers.

Before Sánchez made his proposal, Arrimadas had already sent him a letter on Saturday proposing a ‘major national agreement’, which she has dubbed a pact of ‘national reconstruction’ to overcome the Coronavirus crisis.

‘Our parents’ and grandparents’ generation were able to unite beyond ideologies to overcome the worst circumstances,’ said Arrimadas, who added that Sánchez’s government should seek consensus on ‘moderate, reasonable and sensible’ measures.

The Catalan government, composed of the Esquerra Republicana (ERC) and Junts per Catalunya (JxCat) pro-independence parties, appeared somewhat skeptical of the idea of a new Moncloa Pact in its official reaction to the proposal.

Quim Torra and Pedro Sánchez
Quim Torra (centre, left) facing Pedro Sánchez, together with other members of the ‘negotiation table’ in Madrid on 26 February 2020. (Photo @QuimTorraiPla / Twitter)

Stating that consensus could only be possible if carried out ‘with the agreement of Catalonia’, the government spokesperson warned that if the aim of the proposal is to ‘further recentralise the state’ then the Catalan government ‘will have no part of it’.

ALSO READ: Talks commence between Spanish and Catalan governments

Nine Catalan leaders and activists are currently serving up to 13 years in jail for their role in the October 2017 Catalan independence referendum. Click here for all articles related to: Catalan Trial, verdicts and sentencing

JxCat’s spokeswoman in the Spanish Congress Laura Borràs also said her party will listen to proposals ‘to help find a way out of the economic crisis’ but added that if the idea of a new Moncloa Pact is ‘to rethink a national project for Spain, then don’t count on JxCat’

The ERC party rejects an agreement with other parties, warning that a ‘Grand Coalition’ would be to make ‘the same old mistake of bailing out the banks and the powerful instead of citizens and families’. The existing  ERC-PSOE agreement that helped Pedro Sánchez become reinstated as prime minister sets out the creation of a bilateral negotiating table between the Spanish and Catalan governments to resolve and ‘overcome the judicialisation’ of the Catalan independence conflict.

Below are the numbers to call for each region of Spain for information and assistance in the event of possible cases of Coronavirus – as issued by the Spanish health authorities.

Numbers to call
The numbers to call for each region of Spain.

Click here for further information (in Spanish) regarding Coronavirus from the Spanish Health Ministry.

Up-to-date WHO advice and facts (in English) about the Coronavirus epidemic can be found here: www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/technical-guidance.

Our previous reports on Coronavirus in Spain:

ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (7 April)

ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (6 April)

ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (5 April)

ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (4 April)

ALSO READ: Lockdown in Spain set to be extended until 26 April

ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (3 April)

ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain: unemployment figures worst on record

ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (2 April)

ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (1 April)

ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (31 March)

ALSO READ: FC Barcelona players agree to 70% pay cut, and will ensure staff receive 100%

ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (30 March)

ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (29 March)

ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (28 March)

ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (27 March)

ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (26 March)

ALSO READ: Animal rights NGO starts petition against possible state aid for cancelled bullfights

ALSO READ: Spain publishes list of hotels that will remain open

ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (25 March)

ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (24 March)

ALSO READ: Video of boy training as goalkeeper in isolation goes viral

ALSO READ: The new restrictions at Spain’s airports, ports and land borders

ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (23 March)

ALSO READ: Madrid starts receiving patients at IFEMA exhibition centre ‘hospital’

ALSO READ: Confirmed: lockdown extended until at least 11 April

ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (22 March)

ALSO READ: Walking a goat or a Vietnamese pig is not allowed

ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain – full advice for British travellers seeking to return to the UK

ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (21 March)

ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (20 March)

ALSO READ: ‘This virus we will stop together’ – video 

ALSO READ: Coronavirus in Spain full update (19 March)

ALSO READ: Despite lockdown, Spaniards applaud health workers from balconies every evening

Editor’s note: 

At Spain in English we’re always keen to also publish positive stories and features about life in Spain – not just the current news. With all cultural and sporting events currently on hold, as well as travel and gastronomic excursions, we welcome on-going contributions from all of you who’d like to send us articles for publication. Although we are unable to currently pay for contributions, we will certainly credit you and share the articles across our social media network (if of interest) – and/or also link to your own blogs or other sites. We currently welcome upbeat, positive and fun articles – perhaps how you’re coping with the ‘lockdown’ in your own area of Spain – or how your community is responding, or recommendations of help to others. We have a dedicated ‘Opinion, Blogs & Spanish Experiences‘ section where your articles will appear. We will edit for clarity and length only – and we reserve the right to not publish. Articles should be sent via email to editorial@spainenglish.com (preferably with a photo and credit details), and should be around 500 words (800 to 1,000 max). We will try to respond to everyone, but please be patient with us. We’re a very small team but with big ambitions! Please stay safe. Thank you for reading and following us.

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