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The Spanish Minister of Health, Salvador Illa, on Tuesday called on the people of Madrid to limit their movements and contacts to “the essential” in order to stop the spread of the Covid-19 epidemic.
“I recommend that the people of Madrid reduce their movements as much as possible, strictly respect the measures taken by the health authorities in the region and reduce their movements to the essentials as much as possible, as well as their contacts with those closest to them”, did he declare. Salvador Illa on Cadena Ser radio, stressing that “the most worrying situation is in Madrid”.
The mayor of Madrid, José Luis Martínez-Almeida, also recommended this Tuesday to the people of Madrid to “leave as little as possible”, given the “worrying” situation facing the city due to the pandemic and urged them citizens to follow the instructions of the health authorities.
The statements came at a time when nearly a million people in and around the Spanish capital have been subject to strict travel restrictions for two weeks since Monday morning.
The more than 850,000 people affected (out of a total of 6.6 million inhabitants in the region) are forbidden to leave their place of residence, except for very specific reasons: to go to work or to study, to consult a doctor, legal summons or to take care of dependent people.
However, these people are allowed to move around their neighborhood and are not required to stay in their homes.
The government of the Autonomous Community of Madrid, which is responsible for health, has also decided to reduce the number of people who can meet in public or private in the region from 10 to 6.
The Madrid metropolitan region has been, since the beginning of this month, as in the spring, the epicenter of the pandemic in Spain, one of the European countries hardest hit by Covid-19.
Areas affected by the restrictions have recorded more than 1,000 new cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 inhabitants in the past two weeks, an incidence five times that of Spain as a whole, which is already the highest of the EU.
Salvador Illa also considered that the measures taken in Madrid could ensure control of the epidemic and that there was no need to declare a state of emergency in the region, an exceptional regime which could allow the population to ‘be confined to her home as happened in the spring throughout the Parents.
Spain has so far recorded a total of more than 670,000 cases of the coronavirus, of which more than 30,600 have been fatal.
The Covid-19 pandemic has already killed at least 961,531 people and more than 31.1 million cases of infection in 196 countries and territories, according to a report from the French agency AFP.
In Portugal, 1,920 people have died from 69,200 confirmed cases of infection, according to the latest bulletin from the Directorate-General for Health.
The disease is transmitted by a new coronavirus detected in late December in Wuhan, a city in central China.