Spain’s government was expected to confirm Thursday that a de-escalation of the coronavirus lockdown at the provincial level in four phases announced Tuesday by President Pedro Sánchez will be carried out in some of the country’s regional communities at the more-precise level of healthcare zones within each province.
In a press conference on Tuesday following the weekly cabinet-level Consejo de Ministros meeting, Sánchez said that the national Health Ministry would coordinate a de-escalation of lockdown measures in four distinct phases beginning Saturday 2nd May. The easing of the lockdown measures would be carried out differentially province-by-province, he said, according to medical and expert advise on the reduction of contagion in each of the country’s 50 provinces natinonwide.
Late Wednesday, sources within the Valencian regional government told Spanish news media that the national government had accepted its proposal to micro-tune the de-escalation in the Valencian community, based not on contagion statistics in the community’s three provinces but rather on figures on COVID-19 reduction from each of the community’s 24 healthcare zones.
Valencian President Ximo Puig of Sánchez’s own Socialist Party and Catalan regional President Quim Torra of the Catalonia’s pro-independence Junts per Catalunya (JxCT) party both made the case to the Spanish president for basing the de-escalation on the healthcare zone level during a video-conference call between Sánchez and the leaders of Spain’s 17 regional communities on Monday.
As many as four other regional presidents, including Galicia’s Alberto Núñez Feijóo of the conservative Partido Popular and the Basque Country’s Alberto Íñigo Urkullu of the Basque nationalist PNV party, have now also called for the de-escalation to be carried out by healthcare zone rather than at the provincial level in their communities.
In the Valencian community, the province of Alicante is the closest of region’s three provinces to returning to normalcy, but differences at the local level within the province have been cited by Valencian government authorities as the rationale for micro-tuning the de-escalation in some provinces according to specific healthcare zones.
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