Madrid extends lockdown, but not enough for central govt.

Clay Curtis
September 27, 2020

Madrid just announced that they are raising the number of areas under lockdown to 45 from 37 moments ago, adding that about 1 million people in the region are reported to be in lockdown based on the latest restrictions.

Antonio Zapatero, deputy health chief of the Madrid region, said that he wanted to continue working with the central government to contain the outbreaks but that more time was needed to see if the current restrictions are having any effect.

National Health Minister Salvador Illa said the Spanish government is recommending tougher measures including a partial lockdown for the whole of Madrid and its 3.3 million residents.

Saying that "shortcuts are not valid", Mr Illa told reporters: "I don't want to hide that very tough, complicated weeks are ahead of us but we are going to succeed if we do what we need to do".

Since the central government ended its state of emergency on June 21, responsibility for public healthcare and managing the pandemic has been transferred to Spain's 17 autonomous regions.

Madrid has become the epicenter of the contagion with a rate of infection of almost 700 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last two weeks - almost three times the national average.

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"We've made a decision to formally request logistical help from the military to install (hospital) tents, carry out tests and disinfection tasks in each of the areas under restrictions", Aguado said on Wednesday.

Madrid has accounted for about a third of all coronavirus cases in Spain and has the highest share of hospital capacity occupied by COVID-19 patients. In contrast, the European average last week was 76 cases per 100,000 people over 14 days.

The regional government of Madrid, which is responsible for health care, also reduced the maximum size of permitted social gatherings across the entire region from ten to six.

The story of surges and countermeasures was not limited to Europe - Israel once again ratcheting up its lockdown on Friday by stopping people from taking flights out of the country. "We are looking for an alternative solution, something we can do when it's safe to contribute to the city".

Brazil now has the world's second highest death toll after the United States - almost 140,000 fatalities - and is still battling to bring the virus under control.

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