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Saturday, 05 December 2020

Madrid insists coronavirus is 'under control' in Spain

AFP , Sunday 26 Jul 2020
Madrid
People wearing face masks to prevent the spread of coronavirus gather in a discotheque in Madrid, Spain, early Saturday, July 25, 2020. (Photo: AP)
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The Spanish government said on Sunday that in spite of the recent surge in coronavirus cases, the situation there is "under control".

The statement comes in response to countries that have recently announced travel restrictions on Spain.

From Sunday, passengers arriving from Spain to the UK will have to undergo a fortnight in isolation while Norway imposed restrictions on travel to Spain.

French Prime Minister Jean Castex "strongly recommended" Friday that the French avoid going to Catalonia, a region in northeastern Spain where the epidemic is particularly on the rise.

"The Spanish government considers that the situation is under control, the outbreaks have been located, isolated and controlled," the foreign ministry told AFP.

"Spain is a safe country," the ministry said, adding that in the case of the British quarantine, Spain is "in contact" with London whose decisions it "respects".

Spain reported nearly a thousand new cases a day on both Thursday and Friday.

Its number of cases has tripled in two weeks while more than 280 homes are being closely monitored by the authorities.

The Ministry of Health is particularly concerned about the situation in Aragon and Catalonia, where the regional authorities have urged residents of Barcelona to stay at home.

They also decided on Friday to close nightclubs and bars, considered hotbeds of contagion.

Most regions have tightened the screw by reinforcing the compulsory use of masks, which must be worn at all times in the street under threat of a fine.

In some of them, restrictions have been taken locally, such as limiting the number of people who can meet or banning visits to retirement homes.

The central government, which insists that this is not a "second wave", considers that the regions have sufficient tools to control the epidemic.

It has also ruled out the possibility of a new state of emergency, which allowed Madrid to impose a strict lockdown in mid-March which was not completely lifted until June 21.

Spain, one of the countries most affected by the pandemic, has had 272,400 cases and more than 28,400 fatalities.

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