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Catalonia experiences surge of almost 5,300 new Covid-19 cases as curfew looms

Mobility restrictions not ruled out as Spain allows regions to apply measure at own discretion

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23 October 2020 02:00 PM

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ACN|Barcelona

With another 5,295 coronavirus diagnoses reported on Friday, Catalonia broke its new daily cases record for the third day in a row as infections continue on their upward trend, leading the Catalan government to consider stricter measures including a possible curfew.

In a Friday morning interview with public broadcaster TV3, Catalan health minister Alba Vergés claimed she had not ruled out implementing a curfew, though she clarified that were this to be the case, it would not be enforced by calling for the declaration of a state of alarm.

"We will limit mobility and put in force a curfew, or anything that may be required," Vergés affirmed, adding that these measures should be determined by health authorities and not interterritorial discussions.

This comes as the Spanish government stated that the regions would indeed be able to apply curfews without a state of alarm – which seemingly would only be required for a state-wide measure – following days of confusion regarding whether this would be constitutionally possible.

Andalusia, Valencia, and Castile and León have already announced curfews, while the Madrid region will be restricting the mobility of groups of over 6 people between midnight and 6 am.

Meanwhile, Spanish president Pedro Sánchez once again called on people to keep their distances to prevent the spread of the virus, even among friends and family where people tend to let their guard down.

"The near future will be very difficult," Sánchez said. "But it doesn't have to be as hard as the first wave. We already managed to flatten the curve once. I am convinced that we will be able to do so again with fewer sacrifices."

Covid-19 figures continue to grow

The outbreak risk rose by 68.79 to 635.71 on Friday, well above the 'very high risk' threshold of 100, while the transmission rate now stands at 1.47 new infections per person diagnosed with the virus.

Another 21 people have passed away due to Covid-related complications, bringing the death toll in Catalonia to 13,725, while health department figures show there have been a total of 219,828 diagnoses since the beginning of the pandemic. 

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  • A man in Les Borges Blanques being tested for Covid-19 (by Anna Berga)

  • A man in Les Borges Blanques being tested for Covid-19 (by Anna Berga)

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