MADRID, (BM) – The Spanish government said on Tuesday March 24th that it had begun to transition to a “war economy.” At the same time, the Spanish Ministry of Defense turned to NATO for help in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, learned BulgarianMilitary.com citing EurAsia Daily.
The concept of “war economy” comes from the times of the First and Second World Wars and means a quick reorganization of the country’s production and distribution of economic capacities in response to a direct military threat to its existence.
Spanish officials have announced that the incidence of COVID-19 in the country is growing faster than in Italy. On Tuesday, the number of registered cases of coronavirus exceeded 42 thousand, while on Saturday March 21 there were 25 thousand. In the last day preceding the call to NATO, Spanish medical institutions announced 514 new deaths, resulting in a total number of deaths associated with COVID-19, reached 2696.
On Tuesday afternoon, the NATO Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Center (EADRCC) announced that it had received a “request for international assistance from the Spanish Armed Forces in their response to the global pandemic.”
A press release from EADRCC stated that the Spanish military has asked its “international partners to assist the Spanish Ministry of Defense.” The Spanish media reported that the Ministry of Defense’s request for NATO includes “450 thousand respirators, 500 thousand quick test kits, 500 breathing apparatuses and 1.5 million masks”.
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The Spanish military helped turn the ice rink at the popular Palacio de Hielo shopping center in Madrid into an impromptu morgue in preparation for the projected surge in COVID-19 deaths in the coming days.
Over the past week in the Spanish capital, more than a third of all deaths have been attributed to coronavirus. Last weekend, the conference center in the Spanish capital was transformed into a hospital that can accommodate 5500 patients.
In neighboring France, the army for the first time in the history of peacetime deployed a military field hospital. Field hospitals are temporary tent structures designed to provide urgent medical care to wounded servicemen and civilians in the combat zone.
The construction of the tent camp of a field hospital in the city of Mulhouse in Alsace near the Swiss and German borders was described by the French media as an unprecedented spectacle.
In connection with the coronavirus epidemic in Europe, the first impression was that the European Union “faded” and “disappeared”. Now it’s the turn of NATO.
In connection with the desperate request of the Spanish Ministry of Defense to NATO, a natural question arises: does this military structure of the North Atlantic Treaty have significant stocks of medical and personal protective equipment in the event of a major war with massive use of weapons of mass destruction?
So far, in connection with the Spanish case, it looks as if the NATO member states were counting on the creation of strategic reserves in the event of a US-NATO war. And the United States and NATO were counting on the creation of such strategic reserves in the European theater of operations by the European allies.
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