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The Madrid region increases the number of confined persons to 1 million against 3 claimed by the Spanish Government



           


Madrid reinforces its containment (photo: F.Matéo)
Madrid reinforces its containment (photo: F.Matéo)
SPAIN. After Israel, which decided on Thursday 24 September 2020 with effect from Friday 25 September at 2 pm, to reinforce its national confinement effective since Friday 18 September 2020, and Marseille, which will have to close its restaurants and bars on Saturday 26 September 2020, the Madrid region is preparing to extend its strict measures to new areas.

Isabel Diaz Ayuzo, president of the Madrid region, had already pronounced a confinement in thirty-seven health sectors of the Spanish capital and municipalities in its suburbs. A total of 860 000 inhabitants, or 13% of the regional population.
Faced with the increase in contamination, she has decided that, from Monday 28 September 2020, the measures prohibiting people from leaving the district without accepted justification (to go to work, to the doctor or to take their children to school) will now affect some 167,000 more. That's more than a million in total now out of the 6.6 million in the region. For them too, parks will be closed, meetings (even family gatherings) of more than six people will be banned, and bars and restaurants will no longer be able to entertain after 10 pm.

At the call of the regional government, the Spanish Government will deploy the army and the civil guard in Madrid from Monday 28 September 2020 to enforce these measures.

The Spanish State wants to confine the entire population of Madrid

Salvador Illa, the Spanish Minister of Health, is calling for greater firmness in the region. He is demanding that containment be applied to the whole city of Madrid and some neighbouring towns that are heavily affected by the coronavirus. More than three million people would be affected. "We must act with determination (...) There is no other way, no worthwhile gradual approach", Salvador Illa argues. The socialist minister can only declare his opposition to the decisions of the regional right-wing majority. In Spain, the regional authorities remain the only competent authorities in health matters. The only solution would be for the Spanish state to declare a state of alert in order to impose stricter containment. As it did in mid-March 2020 for the whole country.

While Spain has an accumulated incidence ratio of 314 contaminations per 100,000 inhabitants, Madrid reaches 740 and some working-class neighbourhoods in the south of the city peak at 1,300. According to the Spanish Ministry of Health, in this region more than a quarter of hospital beds and almost 40% of intensive care places are already occupied by Covid-19 patients.

Spain, the eighth most affected country in the world

According to the CSSE of the Johns Hopkins University, Spain is the European Union country that reports the most new cases and the most deaths. With 704,209 reported cases (for 31,118 deaths) as of 25 September 2020, it is also the eighth most affected country (France is 11th with 536,289 cases and 31,524 deaths) in the world.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) issued a report on Thursday 24 September 2020 warning of "great concern" about the development of the Covid-19 epidemic. The Stockholm-based European Union agency notes "a higher proportion of serious cases or hospitalisation" in seven EU member states, including Spain but also Croatia, Malta, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary and the Czech Republic.

"As a vaccine will not be available in the short term, the vulnerability of the population to infection remains high. On this basis, the overall probability of infection is very high" in part of the EU countries, the document says. "Most people can still be infected," Andrea Ammon insists. What we are seeing in many countries, not only in Spain, is that a large proportion of current infections are due to private gatherings, large family dinners or all kinds of gatherings with friends and relatives," says the ECDC director.


Frédéric Dubessy


Friday, September 25th 2020



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