30th October 2020
Unidad Militar de Emergencias (UME)
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Madrid seeks ‘urgent’ logistical support from the military

Latest: Coronavirus in Spain figures (20 Oct)

The vice-president of the Madrid regional government, Ignacio Aguado, called on Wednesday for ‘urgent’ logistical support from the Spanish military to help with disinfection and testing for Coronavirus (Covid-19) in the areas of Madrid that are currently in partial lockdown.

‘We have decided to formally request the urgent logistical support of the military to set up tents, carry out tests and disinfections in each of the areas subject to restrictions,’ said Aguado at a press conference on Wednesday.

Aguado also said that the regional government had requested 222 National Police and Guardia Civil officers to help enforce the partial lockdowns.

In addition to police and military support, Madrid has also called for an urgent ‘modification of regulations’ in order to hire 300 doctors from other regions of Spain.

Madrid imposed partial lockdown measures on nearly one million citizens living in 37 areas from Monday – including neighbourhoods in the city of Madrid itself – in a further attempt to stop the spread of the virus. The measures were announced last Friday by Isabel Díaz Ayuso, president of the regional government.

ALSO READMadrid in partial lockdown, with regional government under spotlight  

Residents of the 37 areas, mainly densely populated, low-income neighbourhoods in the south of Madrid, are only allowed to leave their areas to go to work, seek medical care or take their children to school. The measures will remain in place for at least 14 days.

Unidad Militar de Emergencias (UME)
Personnel of the ‘Unidad Militar de Emergencias (UME)’ helping to combat the spread of Coronavirus in the ‘Operación Balmis’ during the height of the state of alarm in March 2020. (Photo courtesy of Ministry of Defence / UME)

All bars and restaurants in the 37 areas have also had to reduce their capacity to 50%. Residents affected are allowed to move around freely inside their zone but no-one from outside is allowed in. The weekend saw a number of protests against the new restrictions in the areas affected in Madrid, with citizens claiming that the measures were ‘discriminatory’.

ALSO READ: Pedro Sánchez offers possibility of ‘regional state of alarms’ – plus 2,000 troops to assist tracking Covid-19

Social gatherings of more than 6 people are now also banned in the entire Madrid region, down from 10 currently, as part of the new measures.

Meeting with Ayuso on Monday, the Spanish prime minister Pedro Sánchez warned of ‘very tough weeks ahead’ and said that, ‘we must be prepared to consider other scenarios, if necessary’. He added that Madrid ‘needs a special plan’.

The Madrid regional government has given itself until Friday to decide whether new restrictions are required in other areas of the region, which is the worst affected region for Coronavirus in Spain.

Click here for all previous reports on: Coronavirus in Spain

ALSO READ: Madrid in partial lockdown, with regional government under spotlight

ALSO READ: Madrid announces new restrictions 

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ALSO READ: Authorities warn of fines following anti-face mask protest in Madrid

ALSO READ: Madrid makes face masks compulsory – and imposes nightlife restrictions 

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