Amid rising coronavirus cases, Madrid has become the first European capital to head back into lockdown following new coronavirus restrictions imposed by the Spanish government.
The new rules, which became effective from 10 pm on Friday, saw the city’s borders closed to non-essential travel, with parks and playgrounds shut, gatherings limited to six people, and bars and restaurants ordered to close at 11 pm.
The measures ordered by the Spanish health ministry, came in after Spain recorded a total of 789,932 coronavirus cases as of Friday- a rise of 11,325 since Thursday, behind Russia with a total coronavirus case of 1,194,643, according to data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.
This extends Spain’s stance as the worst hit in Western Europe, with an infection rate of 1,658 per 100,000 ahead of France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Belgium etc.
In line with this restriction, 4.8 million residents in the Spanish capital will be barred from leaving the area after the city suffered one of the highest infection rates of any region in Europe, with 850 cases per 100,000 people according to the World Health Organization.
A BBC report disclosed that signs of the second wave of Covid-19 infections now breaking over Spain can be seen at the emergency admission unit of the 12 de Octubre hospital, one of the biggest in Madrid. With new patients arriving in ambulances every hour. At La Paz Hospital, another of Madrid’s biggest, all 30 ICU critical care beds are occupied.
However, as the second wave of the virus hits Europe, other countries in the Euro-Area have been taking actions to combat the spread of the virus in their capital. President Emmanuel Macron of France on Tuesday ordered bars in Paris, along with Lyon and nine other cities on ‘heightened alert’, to close at 10 pm.
There is also a 10-person restriction at public gatherings with attendees at weddings and parties limited to 30. Strict measures have continued across France including in Marseille where bars and restaurants have been ordered to close for a week.
In like manners, Coronavirus cases in London continue to surge with East London being one of the worst affected. The rising cases in East London has led to arguments by some city MPs on the imposition of lockdown on all eight million Londoners in a bid to protect boroughs like Bromley, Kensington and Chelsea in West London with under 20 cases per 100,000 people.
However, Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised the coronavirus crisis won’t derail a “massive domestic agenda” as his Conservative Party’s annual conference kicked off online today.
In Germany, Chancellor Merkel on Tuesday announced an array of new measures aimed at stopping a recent spike in infections in the country. She said that gatherings in public venues would be limited to no more than 50 people in areas with a large number of cases.