Local officials in Madrid announced highly anticipated restrictions on Friday to limit contagion of the novel coronavirus as Spain shattered its all-time record for daily cases.
Spain’s Ministry of Health reported 14,389 new infections — breaking the previous record set last Friday by more than 2,000 cases. More than one-third were detected in Madrid.
The healthcare system in Spain’s capital is once again buckling under the pressure of high contagion levels, and new measures will be enforced on Monday to last for 14 days.
The worst-affected neighborhoods, which contain 13% of the region’s population, will be “confined,” said authorities. This will entail a ban on all non-essential movement to and from these areas.
Parks across Madrid will be closed, while bars, restaurants and concert halls will only be able to operate at 50% capacity. Likewise, gatherings will be limited to a maximum of six people, down from the previous limit of 10.
“We have to avoid another state of emergency or lockdown at all costs,” said Madrid President Isabel Ayuso at a news conference.
On Monday, she scheduled a meeting with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez to help deal with the escalating crisis.
Across Spain, hospitals beds are increasingly filled by COVID-19 patients as deaths continue to mount.
Since Monday, the total number of deaths jumped by 658, bringing the total number of fatalities in Spain to 30,405. Meanwhile, active hospitalizations nationwide increased by nearly 1,400 people.
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