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US News Coronavirus: Closures of Madrid despite opposition from local authorities

01:40  01 october  2020
01:40  01 october  2020 Source:   20minutes.fr

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Madrid ’s regional health chief, Enrique Ruiz Escudero, said if these measures did not reduce coronavirus cases, a city-wide lockdown could follow. “If it is necessary to shut down Madrid , we will do it,” he said in an interview with ABC newspaper published on Sunday.

In particular, residents of Madrid will be prohibited from entering or leaving the city except to go to work, to go to the doctor or to take children to school

Coronavirus : Bouclage de Madrid malgré l’opposition des autorités locales (Illustration) © AFP Coronavirus: Lockdown of Madrid despite opposition from local authorities (Illustration) PANDEMIC - In particular, residents of Madrid will be prohibited from entering or leaving the city except to go to work, go to the doctor or else take the children to school

The city of Madrid is cordoned off, an idea that the local authorities rejected. Faced with a "worrying" explosion of Covid-19 cases, the Spanish government decided on Wednesday to impose, after a long standoff, a closure of the capital.

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The government in Madrid is poised to take emergency action after 191 deaths and 6,046 infections. Coronavirus pandemic. image copyrightGetty Images. Some measures have already been enforced at local level. The authorities in Madrid and its surrounding area have ordered the closure of most

Authorities announced the closure of all of Madrid 's state-run museums, including El Prado, the Reina Sofia and the Thyssen-Bornemisza on Wednesday. Madrid has already closed schools for 15 days and banned large gatherings as it tries to grapple with a steep increase in coronavirus cases.

The decree prepared by the Ministry of Health plans in particular to extend to the entire capital the measures already in force for a week in the areas of the region most affected by the virus and therefore to prohibit all residents of Madrid to enter or leave the city except in particular to go to work, to the doctor or to take the children to school. So this is not a strict containment as Spain may have experienced in the spring.

The agreement is “not legally valid”

“We have reached (….) An agreement (on this text) approved by a large majority” by the regions responsible for health, declared the Minister of Health Salvador Illa in front of the press. But the announcement, which comes after a two-week standoff between the left-wing central government and the right-wing Madrid regional executive, was immediately rejected by the latter.

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The agreement is "not legally valid", hastened to indicate the head of Health for the region, Enrique Ruiz Escudero, whose executive had yet reached an agreement in principle with the State.

Despite the refusal of Madrid and other regions, these measures "must be effective" once the decree is published in the Official Journal "in the coming days", assured Salvador Illa. "I don't see" the Madrid region failing to apply them, he said, calling the situation "complex and worrying" in a region which accounts for 43.7% of the country's new cases. On the contrary, Enrique Ruiz Escudero spoke of “the first signals showing that we are entering a favorable situation”.

Nine peripheral municipalities concerned

In addition to the capital and its three million inhabitants, nine peripheral municipalities must be affected by these restrictions because they meet the three required criteria: a contamination rate greater than 500 per 100,000 inhabitants in the last two weeks, an intensive care unit occupancy rate greater than 35% and a positive rate for PCR screening tests greater than 10%.

More than a million people living in the worst affected areas of Madrid and its region are already affected by these restrictions. They are prohibited from leaving their neighborhood except for reasons of first necessity, but they can, on the other hand, move freely in their neighborhood, where parks are closed and where restaurants and bars have had their capacity reduced.

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