Madrid Covid-19 infections soar after ‘Women’s Day’ march

Madrid is rapidly becoming Europe’s latest epicenter of the Coronavirus outbreak after 2 000 people in the Madrid region alone have tested positive for Covid-19 as of March 13, up from 1 388 as of March 12.

According to the Spanish-language daily El Mundo, citing figures from local health councilor Enrique Ruiz Escudero, the surge is “very worrying”.

Spain is witnessing Europe’s second-worst outbreak of Covid-19 with the second-highest number of total confirmed cases in Europe after Italy after the Women’s Day March.

On Thursday, the number of infected in Madrid was at 1 388 out of a total of 3004 in Spain as a whole.

The health councilor said he expected the infected cases to rise “very much” in the coming days, mostly due to the contagion spread at last weekend’s “International Women’s Day” March, where thousands of women simply ignored public health concerns, creating serious risk for vulnerable people in their communities.

Escudero and other top Madrid officials asked Spain’s central government for more supplies to help combat the virus as the “community spread” intensifies. He also called for restaurants and bars to close and demanded that people self-isolate to reduce the risk of infection.

Authorities said at least 120 000 people participated in Madrid’s march.

“This is the only thing that we know we can do to contain it,” Ruiz Escudero explained. Some 190 people infected with the virus are currently in intensive care in Madrid, while 40 people in and around the city have died.

On February 26, 2020, New York University professor and feminist Isabel Cadenas Cañón presented her lecture “Feminist Mobilizations in Contemporary Spain” at NYU’s campus in Madrid. She said Spain has recently established itself as the host of one of the most powerful feminist movements in the world, urging women to participate.

On March 7, a human chain of 8 000 women surrounded the center of Madrid “standing in solidarity of feminism”.

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