Spain not headed back to lockdown, says health minister

Spain not headed back to lockdown, says health minister
3 Sep 2020

The current Covid-19 situation in Spain does not bear comparison with the peak of the pandemic in March, according to the country’s health minister, who has suggested a return to lockdown is unnecessary, writes Sam Jones, the Guardian’s Madrid correspondent.

On Wednesday, Spain recorded 479,554 cases of the virus, up from 470,973 the previous day. Madrid continues to be the hardest-hit region of the country, accounting for more than a third of the cases diagnosed over the past 24 hours and a similar proportion of the 99,621 diagnosed over the past fortnight.

However, Salvador Illa said things were not nearly as grave as they were six months ago.

“We’re seeing an increase in cases, but there’s no comparison with what we saw in March; the system isn’t overwhelmed,” he told Cadena Ser Catalunya radio. “We need to take concrete measures and we are.”

lla also rejected calls for Madrid to be isolated from the surrounding regions to limit the spread of the virus beyond the capital.

On Wednesday, the president of the neighbouring region of Castilla-La Mancha claimed that “80% of the cases we’ve got came from the radioactive viral bomb that was planted in Madrid”.

Illa said: “To be totally clear and honest, a lockdown of Madrid’s perimeters isn’t going to happen.”

Delays in receiving and processing information from Spain’s 17 autonomous regions mean that there are sometimes lags when it comes to updating figures. Although the health ministry announced 8,581 additional cases on Wednesday, it said that only 3,663 new cases had been diagnosed over the previous 24 hours.

When the pandemic was at its peak on 31 March, Spain had 9,222 new cases and 849 deaths in a single day. According to the latest figures from the ministry, there have been 177 deaths from the virus in Spain over the past seven days.

Source: The Guardian - Sam Jones

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