Spain's regions tighten COVID-19 measures as 1 million case milestone looms

By Nathan Allen MADRID (Reuters) - Several Spanish regions toughened their coronavirus restrictions on Monday, seeking to curb a second wave of contagion that looks set to drive the country with Western Europe's highest case load above one million infections this week. Authorities in the northern region of Castile and Leon announced they would seal off the city of Burgos and nearby Aranda de Duero to all but essential travel from Tuesday night after infection rates in the area surpassed 500 cases per 100,000 people.

Reuters October 20, 2020 00:10:43 IST
Spain's regions tighten COVID-19 measures as 1 million case milestone looms

Spains regions tighten COVID19 measures as 1 million case milestone looms

By Nathan Allen

MADRID (Reuters) - Several Spanish regions toughened their coronavirus restrictions on Monday, seeking to curb a second wave of contagion that looks set to drive the country with Western Europe's highest case load above one million infections this week.

Authorities in the northern region of Castile and Leon announced they would seal off the city of Burgos and nearby Aranda de Duero to all but essential travel from Tuesday night after infection rates in the area surpassed 500 cases per 100,000 people.

"We are in circumstances similar to those of March or April," Burgos Mayor Daniel de la Rosa told state broadcaster TVE, recalling the beginning of the pandemic, when many Spaniards were confined to their homes to stop the spread.

Aragon, which was at the centre of several outbreaks linked to migrant agricultural workers over summer, introduced capacity limits at bars and restaurants and banned the sale of alcohol in shops between 10 pm and 8 am.

Regional health chief Sira Repolles said she was "very close" to imposing restrictions on movement in the regional capital Zaragoza.

And Catalonia, which last week ordered a 15-day shutdown of bars and restaurants, told 24-hour businesses they must shut at 10 p.m. and cannot reopen until 7 a.m.

Spain's decentralised political system leaves the handling of the pandemic largely up to the regions, although the central government can intervene, as it did on Oct. 9 by declaring a state of emergency in Madrid to reimpose a partial lockdown on several million people in and around the capital.

Despite the increasingly severe clampdown, Spain has added nearly 38,000 cases since Friday, bringing the nationwide total up to 974,449. The death toll jumped by 217 to 33,992.

Health emergency chief Fernando Simon warned the daily infection rate was increasing after a brief period of stability last week.

"It's likely that in winter if we don't take great care with precautionary measures the infection rate will increase again," he told a news conference.

Neighbouring France has nearly 900,000 cases and could also surpass 1 million this week.

(Reporting by Nathan Allen; Editing by Peter Graff and Mark Potter)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.