Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez pledged Tuesday to beat the latest surge in COVID-19 cases that has hit the nation, and he urged the Spanish people to remain “alert but serene” as the country works to flatten the increase.
In a televised speech, Sanchez told the nation that Spain’s total number of infections hit 405,436 during a surge last week, which the Health Ministry reports was the worst week for infections since the pandemic's peak in late March.
Sanchez said the trend is “worrying” but urged people to remain calm, because the COVID-19 rate is "far from the situation in mid-March," when the government imposed a state of emergency.
Insufficient tracking of the outbreaks has been identified by experts as one of Spain's main failures in dealing with the aftermath of the first virus wave. To address that situation, Sanchez announced 2,000 military personal trained to carry out contact tracing will be made available to the country's 17 regions to help stem the tide of the virus.
Sanchez said his government would work with the governments of the autonomous regions to get children back to school safely in September. He also urged citizens to download a government-sponsored contact-tracing phone application, which also can help them with getting tested or quarantined.
The prime minister pledged he will not allow COVID-19 to take over the lives of the nation again, saying, “We will beat the curve again, and we have to do it united because there is no other way. We have done it before. We know how to do it, and I am convinced we will do it again."