Spain to put entire capital under partial lockdown

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Spain’s capital Madrid is to be put under partial lockdown, the government said Wednesday as it stepped up measures to fight a second wave of the coronavirus.

The greater Madrid region has 6.6 million residents. Authorities have earlier imposed a partial lockdown on a million of them.

Health minister Salvador Illa said that the situation in Madrid is “complex and worrying”, as the country registered 11,016 new infections over the past 24 hours, nearly 44% of which were in the Madrid region.

However, regional health chief Enrique Ruiz Escudero said that Madrid’s authorities did not agree with the government’s plans to lock down the capital in the coming days.

Spain has the highest number of COVID-19 cases in Europe, and Madrid is the worst-hit region. The infection rate in the country stands at around 300 per 100,000 inhabitants. In the Madrid region, the rate currently stands at more than 780 per 100,000 inhabitants.

The coronavirus has so far killed more than 31,000 people in Spain and infected close to 760,000.