Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has made military personnel available to regional governments as the country ramps up efforts to contain coronavirus amid an uptick in new cases.

Sanchez announced on Tuesday that 2,000 troops will be ready to help with track and tracing efforts, and encouraged regions to declare their own local state of emergency if they felt the situation warranted it. 

The prime minister expressed concern about a surge in new coronavirus cases and argued that action needs to be taken to avoid the situation getting worse. Spain has ramped up testing and tracing as part of an effort to contain the virus. 

“We cannot allow the pandemic to take control of our lives again… we must take control, break this second curve,” he said. He encouraged Spaniards to download a digital national tracing app, RadarCovid. 

Spain has recorded more than 400,000 Covid-19 cases, resulting in 28,827 deaths, according to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University. Earlier this month, the country mobilized a military emergency brigade to set up a field hospital in the northeastern city of Zaragoz, amid concern that the health system could face a strain. Although cases have gone up in August, daily deaths have remained low. The nation imposed one of the strictest lockdowns on the European continent, with local restrictions remaining in some areas. 

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