Madrid, Spain’s worst-hit city, plans stricter controls

While Spain suffers the highest levels of Covid-19 transmission in Europe, its capital Madrid is the sickest city in Spain.

The regional government, which manages public healthcare, is poised to introduce draconian restrictions on social activity – possibly confining the capitals worst-hit areas, three months after Spains national lockdown ended.

Accounting for a third of the new cases detected in Spain in recent weeks, Madrids cumulative number of Covid-19 cases over two weeks has now reached 659 confirmed positives per 100,000 inhabitants. Some of the most crowded neighbourhoods in the citys poor south are double that. The Spanish national average is 260. In the UK the number is 59, according to the European CDC.

Madrid’s hospitals are approaching the levels of saturation that saw disastrous scenes in the spring, when ambulances were not sent to care homes and a massive field hospital was set up in the capitals main conference centre.

Health workers representatives say some intensive care units have already reached capacity. Of 500 intensive care beds available in public hospitals across the region, 400 are now occupied by Covid patients. But the regional government points to plans to extend that capacity to more than 900.

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