Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said that it was safe for children to return to school in the coming days, despite concerns over the increasing spread of Covid-19 in some parts of the country.
Speaking on the Spanish radio station Cadena SER on Tuesday, Sanchez said that one reason for the increased spread of Covid-19 was that “part of the population has relaxed levels of protection and that has allowed a wider circulation of the virus”, reports Xinhua news agency.
The Prime Minister’s remarks came a day after the Ministry of Health reported more than 47,000 new cases over the previous week.
He said that the “evolution of the epidemic” was not “homogenous”, with some regions seeing many more cases than others and explained that was why his government would not re-impose a nationwide State of Alarm to limit people’s movement, as was the case from mid-March until June 21.
“There is no justification for us to raise a State of Alarm with equally harsh measures throughout the territory,” said the prime minister, who singled out Madrid, which has seen 14,871 new cases over the past week as a special cause for worry.
Sanchez also said that Spain now has a “much greater early detection capacity than we had in March”, and insisted that the return to school, which will take place over the coming days, was safe.
He said the risk of “social exclusion” was greater than the risk from the virus.
Sanchez also made an appeal for unity ahead of busy autumn in which his government will try to secure the approval of a budget which is more necessary than ever given the effect of the coronavirus on the Spanish economy.
As of Wednesday, the overall caseload in Spain increased to 470,973, while the death toll stood at 29,152.