A member of the medical staff dressed in a protective suit holds a syringe as he treats a coronavirus disease patient inside the COVID-19 ICU hospital. | BAZ RATNER

The Minister of Health, Salvador Illa, has appeared this morning in Congress to request that the state of emergency lasts for a period of six months.

"The government is aware that citizens are tired, but it is not the time to relax measures because very hard months are coming."

The Spanish government announced a nationwide curfew last week and the number of cases of the coronavirus continues to rise. Opposition groups have rounded on the government saying that the six month period is too long and should be reduced.