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Spanish government orders new state of alarm in Madrid with 15-day lockdown measures 

The Spanish government has ordered a new state of alarm in Madrid following an emergency meeting on Friday morning.

The lockdown took effect from yesterday
afternoon when the formal order was published and will last for 15 days. Any
further extension would have to be approved by Congress.

Spain celebrates a bank holiday on October
12th with Hispanic Day and the national government wanted to avoid a “mass
exodus” of thousands of residents out of Madrid to the coastal and holiday
zones.

The government had warned Madrid’s president
Isabel Díaz Ayuso that she had until noon on Friday to order her own extensive
new restrictions but “as no call was received, it was decided she had run
out of time”.

Minister of Health, Salvador Illa said:
“The president of the community of Madrid has decided not to do anything.
We can sit back or we can stop the virus.”

“It is very important that the level of
contagion in Madrid does not spread to the rest of Spain. The only thing that
matters to the Government of Spain is to protect health ”.

He said health care in Madrid ran the
serious risk of being overwhelmed, adding:  “And we have not yet
reached winter.”

Earlier restrictions imposed on the capital
were deemed unlawful by the courts but Madrid had promised to take other
actions, if softer, to help contain the spread of coronavirus.

The mayor of Madrid, José Luis Martínez
Almeida said the declaration of the state of alarm was “very bad
news”.

The measures are not  as severe as the
original lockdown in March. However, movements are being restricted in all
zones and the police have been brought in to patrol the streets to head off any
possible unrest and to ensure the orders are adhered to.

On Thursday evening , the national health
ministry announced 12,423 new positive Covid-19 cases in Spain, the highest
figure in the week so far. Madrid was still heading the daily list of
contagions, but the smaller Navarra region had the highest case rate per
inhabitant. Earlier on Thursday, Isabel Díaz Ayuso said that the Madrid region
had 575 cases per 100,000 in the last two weeks.