We all knew that it was coming, but now it is official: the State of Alarm (Alert State or lock down) will be extended until at least mid April.
The Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, made this announced during his video-conference reunion with all the Heads of the regional governments, which started a little after 10.00h this morning.
In order to extend the lock down, it must be approved by the Lower House of Parliament (El Congreso). This is because a Royal Decree cannot extend past 15 days. However, the parliamentary vote will probably only be a formality as no opposition to it is likely to manifest itself there.
The fact is that the Public Health Systems (each regional runs its own) are close to collapse – in some cases ICUs have reached breaking point and patients have moved to other hospitals or to the temporary military ones.
The Government calculates that even when these extra 15 days have passed many restrictions will be kept in place for the time being. The Government, through its different ministerial departments, has said that the worse is yet to come – last night the figure for those infected reached 25,000.
Bear in mind that this figure can only represent those that the health authorities know about. However, the death toll is an accurate one, which stands at 1,300 dead.
Editorial comment: Just to put some sort of perspective to this deaths figure: during 2017, 1,830 people died on the roads in Spain.