Madrid extends restrictions to another eight zones but ignores calls for full lockdown

Madrid extends restrictions to another eight zones but ignores calls for full lockdown
Photo: AFP
Madrid's regional government expanded the number of areas under partial lockdown Friday in a move now affecting a million people, but ignored a central government plea for restrictions across the capital.

Antonio Zapatero, the region's deputy health chief, said the restrictions would affect 167,000 people in eight new areas who will not be able to leave their neighbourhood except for work, school or medical reasons.

He also recommended that all of the region's 6.6 million residents “avoid unnecessary movement” as authorities race to slow the spread of the virus in Spain's worst-hit region.

The eight new health zones that bring the confinement list to 45 are:

Vicálvaro-Artilleros (Vicálvaro), García-Noblejas (San Blas-Canillejas), Rafael Alberti and Campo de la Paloma (Puente de Vallecas), Orcasitas (Usera) in Madrid Capital, and Panaderas (Fuenlabrada), Doctor Trueta and Miguel Servet (Alcorcón).

Even as the new restrictions were announced by Madrid regional health authorities, the central government's health minister, who held a press conference at the same time, recommended locking down the entire city.

Salvador Illa called for a perimeter restriction to be placed on the city of Madrid to limit movement and reduce the number of people allowed to meet. 

But Zapatero explained that the decision had been made to include a further 8 zones based on three criteria centring on the incidence rate of new cases per 100,000 people over the last 14 days. Those areas where the rate rose above 1,000 were put on the danger list but it also depends on the ability of the health centres to cope with the outbreak and the ease of geographically defining an area. 

Lavapies and Tetuan, two zones where the figure rises above 1,000 cases per 100,000 inhabitants were notably absent from the list. 

Meanwhile. Illa said the Ministry of Health recommended lowering the threshold and imposing restrictions on all areas above 500 cases per 100.000 – a figure that would include virtually the whole of the Madrid region where the average is over 750.

Restrictions in the new zones would begin on Monday, Zapatero said. 

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