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Madrid residents facing partial lockdown demonstrate against new measures

SHOTLIST MADRID, SPAINSEPTEMBER 20, 2020SOURCE: AFPTV 1. Mid shot Riot Police officers order the demonstrators to move back2. Mid shot Riot Police officers order the demonstrators to move back3. Mid shot Demonstrators chanting "Public health care system!" in front of the Assembly of Madrid 4. SOUNDBITE 1 - Victoria, public health official (female, 63 years old, Spanish, 14 sec): "This lady [Isabel Díaz Ayuso, President of the Community of Madrid] thinks that Vallecas is a focus of... I do not know, I do not know what she is thinking. The public healthcare facilities have been below the minimum level for many years, they did not provide them with doctors and nurses, the contracts they made are rubbish and with this crisis it only got worse." "Esta señora se ha pensado, que Vallecas es un foco de... no sé, no sé qué se ha pensado. Es cierto que los centros de salud llevan muchísimos años trabajando bajo mínimos, no se les ha cubierto de médicos y de enfermería, los contratos que se han hecho han sido basura y con esta crisis se ha agravado mucho más." 5. Riot Police officers guard the Assembly of Madrid6. Riot Police officers guard the Assembly of Madrid7. Riot Police officers guard the Assembly of Madrid8. Mid shot A demonstrator holding a banner that reads "Ayuso must resign!" [Isabel Díaz Ayuso, President of the Community of Madrid.]9. Mid shot Demonstrators clapping their hands ///-----------------------------------------------------------AFP TEXT STORY: Madrid braces for partial lockdown as virus surges By Emmanuelle MICHEL =(Picture)= Madrid, Sept 20, 2020 (AFP) - Nearly a million Madrid residents were bracing Sunday for a partial lockdown as Spanish authorities seek to put a brake on a second wave of Covid-19.The restrictions, which kick off Monday for two weeks, affect 850,000 people living mainly in densely-populated, low-income neighbourhoods in the south -- or 13 percent of the population in and around the capital.Like many countries in Europe, Spain is battling a coronavirus surge and, once again, Madrid is the worst-hit region."We're concerned with the data we're seeing, because the number of cases is double that of the national average and the number of hospital admissions... is triple the national average," Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said in a television interview Saturday.But he stressed he was not contemplating a national lockdown.Several districts of southern Madrid have counted more than 1,000 cases per 100,000 inhabitants -- around five times the national average, which in itself is the highest in the European Union.Residents will be banned from leaving their district other than for essential travel like work, medical care or taking children to school, Madrid's regional government said Friday.They will be allowed to move around freely inside their zone but no one from outside will be allowed in unless absolutely essential.Parks will be closed but shops, bars and restaurants will remain open at 50 percent capacity.Meanwhile, gatherings of more than six people will be banned in the entire region, down from ten currently.On Sunday, people took to the streets in some of the affected districts in protest against the new measures.They sported placards reading "No to a class-based lockdown" or "They're destroying our district and now they're locking us up."Madrid's regional president Isabel Diaz Ayuso, who has been slammed for her management of the crisis, is due to meet Sanchez on Monday.The meeting is a sign of central government concern over the crisis in Madrid, as the management of public health issues is normally the responsibility of Spanish regional authorities.Regional health officials say Madrid's healthcare system is under growing pressure, with one in five hospital beds occupied by Covid patients.As such, experts fear a sharp increase in the regional mortality rate -- which is currently much lower than in the spring -- over the coming weeks.Spain has so far recorded over 30,000 deaths and 600,000 confirmed cases, according to official figures.emi/mbx/cdw -------------------------------------------------------------