- The decision by Spain comes after almost 3,000 new cases of the disease were diagnosed in the country in just 24 hours on Thursday.
- Spain's health minister, Salvador Illa, said that the cases are now different from those recorded in April, affecting a younger population.
- The government of New Zealand announced today that it will extend the confinement in Auckland.
The increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in Spain has forced the Spanish government to enact new safety measures on Friday across the country. As announced by the nation’s health minister, the new measures include a ban on public smoking, as well as the closure of all nightlife venues– such as bars and clubs.
The measures are to be carried out throughout the Spanish territory. The decision by Spain comes after almost 3,000 new cases of the disease were diagnosed in the country in just 24 hours on Thursday.
The nation’s health minister, Salvador Illa, said that the cases are now different from those recorded in April, affecting a younger population, and being mostly asymptomatic. Therefore, he called upon young people to be responsible and disciplined. “We cannot afford not to be disciplined,” Illa said. “We cannot ignore the virus circulating among us.”
As for alcohol consumption, it will continue to be banned on the streets, and there will be a reinforcement of inspection to ensure compliance with these rules. In relation to tobacco and similar products, smoking will not be allowed on public roads or in outdoor spaces where a safety distance of at least 1.5 meters cannot be guaranteed .
Since the beginning of the pandemic in Spain, 337,334 people have so far tested positive for the new coronavirus. Of that number, 2,935 cases were registered this Thursday, in a mere 24 hours period.
New Zealand Extends Auckland Confinement
The government of New Zealand announced today that it will extend the confinement in Auckland, the country’s largest city, for another 12 days to combat the resurgence of COVID-19. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern decided to extend the measure, which came into force on Wednesday.
The restrictions enacted in the rest of the country would also continue, due to an outbreak detected on Tuesday in four members of the same family. Ardern had ordered the reestablishment of the confinement in Auckland, after the appearance of the four cases after 102 days without any local cases in the country.
The new outbreak already totals 29 local infections across the country, officials said. The Prime Minister said the outbreak was detected “relatively early,” pointing out that the first case may be linked to a worker at a transport and refrigeration company who fell ill on July 31.
The country, which is famed for having adopted one of the strictest measures in the world at the beginning of the pandemic, had lifted restrictions on June 9. There are fears that New Zealand could witness more cases from the cluster, said the Prime minister, adding, “it will grow before it slows.”
“And it may continue to be linked to schools, churches and social gatherings, as it has done to date. We also know, based on overseas experience and our own, that it is possible to contain a cluster or outbreak without ever being able to identify its origin.”
The pandemic of COVID-19 has caused more than 750,000 dead and infected nearly 21 million people in 196 countries and territories across the world, according to a report prepared by the France news agency, AFP. The disease is spread by a new coronavirus detected in late December in Wuhan, China.