Spain needs “drastic measures” to tackle its “out of control” second wave of Covid-19 infections, the country’s health minister has warned.

“Very hard weeks are coming,” Salvador Illa told Madrid’s Onda Cero radio station on Thursday, just a day after Spain became the first nation in Western Europe to hit one million coronavirus cases.

Illa is set to thrash out urgent new measures to contain the virus in meetings with regional health bosses on Thursday afternoon.

Cases have shot up in recent weeks, with the number in the northern region of Navarra now at 1,021 per 100,000 inhabitants, and Illa sounded the alarm. 

The second wave is a reality. In many areas of our country, the epidemic is out of control. I insist we have to take drastic measures, as do several regions.

The minister’s comments come after he discussed curfews for Madrid on Tuesday – measures that have already been imposed on cities in countries with lower rates of infection, such as France.

However, curfews in the Spanish capital are dependent on achieving political consensus to extend the city’s current state of emergency, which ends on Friday.

The socialist government would need support from the conservative opposition People’s Party, in order to push through an extension.

On Thursday, the country’s political tensions were exposed as Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez survived a no-confidence vote.

Spain has recorded 1,005,295 Covid-19 cases in total and 34,366 deaths related to the virus.

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