Residents of Madrid have been advised to stay at home by the regional government after the Spanish Health Ministry recorded 3,650 new Coronavirus cases on Friday.
Of the 3,650 cases, the Spanish capital accounted for a third with 1,199 new infections bringing the cumulative total to 386,054.
There were a total of 11,679 cases registered in the last week and 20,885 in the past fortnight raising concerns that the virus is once again starting to get out of control.
The Autonomous Community of Madrid currently has the highest number of COVID-19 cases in Spain with 106,215, followed by Catalonia with 98,462 and the Basque region with 23,919.
The numbers are especially worrying as many of the capital’s residents are currently on holiday and are expected to return at the start of September prior to the commencement of the new school year.
Antonio Zapatero, the deputy counsellor of Public Health and Plan COVID-19, ruled out a mandatory lockdown of the region, however, he urged residents to avoid unnecessary trips and family gatherings of more than 10 people. He stressed that those in the worst affected areas should stay at home where possible to prevent further contagion.
“Although we’re worried, I don’t think the situation merits targeted lockdowns,” he said.
Zapatero was referring to the districts of Carabanchel, Usera and Vallecas, which have seen the biggest infection rates in recent days and where thousands of PCR tests are currently being offered to residents.
According to an epidemiological report released on Tuesday, the satellite municipalities of Fuenlabrada, Parla, Móstoles and Leganés are registering the greatest incidence of the virus among residents.
On Thursday, health emergency chief Fernando Simón (pictured) warned of the dangers of a second wave, however, he stressed that the recent spike in infections had not become a nationwide phenomenon.
He said, “At a national level we cannot say the virus is out of control, although in some areas perhaps it is”.
Simón encouraged social media influencers to get the message out to young people reminding them that the fight was not over.
"Nobody should be in any doubt, things are not going well. We cannot let the situation elude us again," Simón told a press conference.
Spain has been one of the worst-hit countries recording close to 30,000 deaths since the start of the pandemic. Since the lockdown was eased in June, there have been a number of fresh outbreaks.
Meanwhile, with children set to go back to school, Madrid’s educational authorities have said that a full return with face-to-face classes would not be possible in September. Instead, it is believed that students will most likely have a mixture of in-person and online teaching sessions.
Rocio Penco Valenzuela, a teacher in Madrid said, “All teachers have a lot of uncertainty. There haven’t been clear guidelines. We have no idea about how schools will reopen and we are a bit scared.”
Since the start of the pandemic, a total of 28,838 people in Spain have died from the virus. This led to the government imposing a strict national lockdown in March which was eased in June.
More recently in an attempt to prevent a resurgence, the national government has ordered a number of new measures including the closure of night clubs, for restaurants to close by 1 am and a ban on smoking in public spaces where social distancing cannot be maintained.
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons
January 14, 2021