Authorities have extended a partial lockdown from Monday to 45 areas in the Spanish capital region, while the central government recommends reimposing a partial lockdown on all of Madrid city.
The Madrid region has ordered a lockdown in 45 areas where the contagion rate is above 1,000 cases per 100,000 people. “These are the minimum measures we have to take to control the spread of the virus in the city,” Health Minister Salvador Illa said on Friday.
The central government has recommended locking down all of the city of Madrid again to curb the spread of coronavirus, Illa said, adding that only regional authorities have the sole power to make this decision.
Under a new partial lockdown, people will be banned from traveling outside of the city. They will be able to go to work and school, and bars will remain open, with certain restrictions.
The capital region, which has 6.7 million residents, half of whom live in Madrid itself, accounts for over a third of hospital admissions in Spain. The partial lockdown, which starts next week, will affect more than one million people.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Spain surpassed 700,000 on Thursday, the highest number in Western Europe, and more than 31,000 people have died from Covid-19.
According to Illa, the second wave of infections in Spain has a lower intensity and velocity than the first one. The minister explained that the high numbers come mostly after mass testing. Authorities claim they can now detect six or seven cases out of 10, as opposed to one in 10 a few months earlier.
Nevertheless, Illa said that “tough weeks are coming in Madrid,” urging residents and officials to “act with resolve to bring the pandemic under control.”
Spanish Education Minister Isabel Celáa said on Thursday the reopening of schools in the country over the past two weeks had not led to any significant increase in infections. Less than one percent of all classes have had to be quarantined so far.
A drastic nationwide lockdown was imposed on March 14 and ended in late June. During that period, adults were allowed to leave home only to buy food, medicine or to walk the dog.
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