Tuesday, 27 Sep 2022

Coronavirus latest: Spain intensifies lockdown as government hammered over defective kits

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez assured workers they will be paid leave. The period will end April 9, this date coincides with the beginning of Easter break, when workers would be at home normally. Mr Sanchez acknowledged the measures were harsh but said they were necessary to curb the outbreak and that he believed Spaniards were ready to “stand up and be counted”.

He added: “If we achieve the levels of mobility on weekends, which is not much of a difference but is significant enough.

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“I think we will be making a solidarity effort set to defeat the common enemy.”

Healthcare, as well as the supply of medicines, food and agricultural products will continue.

Mr Sanchez explained: “The idea is that a worker who works on a construction site, from March 30 will not do so and may have that paid leave.

“On the other hand, a nurse will do it.”

Spain has endured its’ worst 24 hours since the crisis began with 832 deaths.

This brings the total death toll to 5,690.

The Council of Ministers will approve the measures on Sunday.

Two of the nation’s autonomous communities, the Community of Madrid and Catalonia called for all economic activity to be ceased.

The central government has been facing criticism for its response to the outbreak.

This week it emerged that of 640,000 testing kits ordered by the nation, 58,000 were defective.

The tests had already arrived in Spain, and the government pulled the entire consignment from circulation.

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On Wednesday, the Chinese embassy in Madrid claimed Shenzhen Bioeasy Biotechnology was not included in any donations made by Beijing and by the Alibaba company.

They added Shenzhen Bioeasy Biotechnology was on the Chinese Ministry of Commerce’s list of classified suppliers.

Madrid confirmed the kits would be returned and they had been bought from a company in Spain not directly from China.

The Ministry of Health confirmed: “The first tests on the rapid testing kits were carried out simultaneously by a hospital in Madrid and by the Carlos III Health Institute, and as soon as their low sensitivity was discovered, they were withdrawn.

“The supplier has been contacted and replacement tests will be provided.”

Salvador Illa, the health minister, claimed to a parliamentary health committee the kits had certification they met European Economic Area standards.

According to Politico, Pablo Casado of the opposition People’s Party described the events as “authentic irresponsibility that must have consequences.”

Mr Casado bemoaned: “Every delay, lie or mistake costs lives.”

Teodoro García Egea, party chairman, criticised the government for demanding “loyalty” from the opposition while making “mistake after mistake.”

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