Facing resistance, Spain declares emergency for Madrid’s Kovid-19 outbreak

Spain declared a state of emergency in a situation that would allow it to extend a partial lockdown on Madrid, where hospitals are recuperating with Kovid-19 patients and local authorities have opposed new restrictions.

Coronovirus cases have increased in Europe with 7,000 new infections once again in Spain, compared to 134 cases in June.

The country was in one of the worst conditions in the world in the spring, as 27,000 people died in Kovid-19 between March and late June.

A nationwide lockdown then helped the outbreak, but the transition has increased since the summer, when Spain reopened much of its economy to revive its tourism industry.

The current wave has sparked a fierce debate about controlling one of the worst outbreaks in Europe without harming it as the West’s hardest hit economy. The Spanish economy – heavily dependent on tourism, according to the latest forecasts by the Spanish central bank, is expected to contract between 10.5% and 12.6% for all of 2020.

Tensions have increased over how to handle a serious outbreak in Madrid and the surrounding region, pitting the center-left government of Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez against the center-south regional authorities.

The rate of infection in the Madrid region is the highest in the continent, with an incidence rate of 600 cases per 100,000 people, more than double the national average. Hospitalization is increasing in the region, with approximately 40% of the intensive-care unit beds occupied by Kovid-19 patients in the area.

An increase in cases in Madrid ordered the Spanish government to impose new restrictions on the capital and the surrounding nine cities last Friday.

Under the recently imposed restrictions, people can only travel within and outside Madrid for essential purposes such as work and medical care.


Paul Hanna / Bloomberg News

The sanctions, which affect about 4.8 million people, allow only in and out of Madrid for essential purposes such as work and medical care. Within the Madrid region, social ceremonies of more than six people have been banned, while the ban on opening and opening hours in restaurants and shops has been tightened.

However, the center-right regional government opposed the restrictions and appealed to the courts to overturn the order. On Thursday, the Madrid High Court ruled that the restrictions violate the fundamental rights of citizens.

Madrid residents implied by the court’s decision can move freely across the country. 12 national holidays, one of the most popular long weekends of the year. This prompted the government to create a new state of emergency, which gives it broad powers to override regional authorities. In Spain, regional authorities oversee areas such as public health policies.

Health experts are worried about what will happen if Madrid’s infection rate is not brought under control soon.

“It took too long to take action, our incidence rate and the level of pressure on our health system,” said Daniel Lopez, an epidemiologist at the World Health Organization and former director of Health Action at Crisis.

Mr Lopez said these measures should be implemented at least two weeks in advance and a full lockdown may be required if the new restrictions do not succeed in leveling the curve.

As European countries face the second wave of infection, data suggest that tourism has helped coronovirus spread to popular destinations and travelers’ home countries. The WSJ describes how summer travel has made the epidemic harder to control. Photo: Damir Saker / Agence France Press

Like other European countries, the rise in infections has not led to a similar increase in hospitalizations or deaths, partly because the virus has spread most rapidly through young people who typically experience lactating symptoms. .

However, the ICU is under pressure at Madrid’s La Paz Hospital, though the situation is not nearly as important as it was in the spring, when overwhelmed doctors and nurses in some areas of Spain were asked to treat coronovirus patients with adequate protective gear was forced. .

One of the largest hospitals in the country, La Paz filled all its critical care beds with Kovid-19 patients during the first coronovirus wave.

Currently, all 30 intensive care beds in La Paz are occupied by coronovirus patients, although it still has 120 critical care units, beds are usually reserved for patients in postoperative recovery who need Covid-19 cases Can be customized for Of the hospital’s 220 coronavirus patients, 34 require intensive care.

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For small-business owners, new health points are a challenge.

In December, Roman Predillo used all his savings to open Papaya, a cocktail bar aimed at youth clubs in central Madrid. After a disastrous summer, he expected some of this revenue to decline – only to face fresh restrictions. Mr. Pradillo said he expected the bar’s revenue to be halved.

He hires a cook to expand his food offerings, which he hopes will be new customer habits, such as eating longer rather than going out at night.

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