Sanchez Meets Diaz But Warns Of “Difficult Weeks Ahead”
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez met today with the Madrid regional premier Isabel Diaz Ayuso in order to address the worsening coronavirus situation in the capital.
The meeting which had been sought by Diaz Ayuso amid growing criticism of her handling of the pandemic was held at the Real Casa de Correos building in Puerta del Sol.
Despite earlier differences the two leaders appeared were said to have had a constructive meeting with the Prime Minister stating that “together we will prevail. This is an epidemiological battle, not an ideological one” whilst the Madrid premier said the epidemic is becoming stronger in a very worrying way. Only with joint action will we be able to overcome this situation.”
He further added that the capital “needs a special plan” to combat the current surge of cases in the region which has made Madrid the epicentre of the second wave that has hit western Europe since the end of August.
Under the provisions of ending of the state of emergency measures in June all local powers were restored to the autonomous communities to deal with the coronavirus situation. During the press conference both leaders maintained that the Madrid regional government will maintain these powers and that they would enhance cooperation.
The meeting which had been requested by Díaz Ayuso asking for help and to “get involved” in dealing with the surge in cases that Madrid has seen and comes as new measures announced on Friday came into effect including the local lockdowns of 37 areas of the region which has affected over 850,000 residents.
The two leaders agreed a series of measures including setting up a joint working group and additional central government resources to be set aside for contact tracing teams, military personnel and police to ensure that the local lockdowns are enforced.
The Spanish Health Ministry announced an additional 31,438 cases today covering newly reported infections since Friday.
To date Madrid has reported 108, 000 cases including 8,546 deaths out of a national toll of 671,000 cases and 30,663 deaths.